Introduction: Hormonal contraceptives can influence female sexual function.
Aim: The goal of this article was to provide a comprehensive review of the effects that various hormonal contraceptives may have on female sexual function.
Methods: A Medline search was conducted using several terms related to and including the terms contraception, oral contraceptive, female sexual function, dyspareunia, libido, and sexual desire.
Results: A thorough review of the effects of hormonal contraceptives on female sexual function.
Conclusions: The sexual side effects of hormonal contraceptives are not well studied, particularly with regard to impact on libido. There appears to be mixed effects on libido, with a small percentage of women experiencing an increase or a decrease, and the majority being unaffected. Healthcare providers must be aware that hormonal contraceptive can have negative effects on female sexuality so they can counsel and care for their patients appropriately.
© 2012 International Society for Sexual Medicine.