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Cycle-related changes in mood, sexual desire, and sexual activity in oral contraception-using and non-hormonal-contraception-using couples

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Findings on womenU+2019s sexuality across the menstrual cycle are inconsistent. One relatively consistent finding is a mid-cycle and premenstrual peak in sexual desire in freely cycling women. Results on the cycle-related effects of sexual behaviour are less clear. Large proportions of reproductive-aged women use combined oral contraception (COC), but studies on potential cycle-related shifts in sexual desire and behaviour are sparse. A prospective diary study assessed sexual desire, sexual behaviour and mood in 89 heterosexual couples. Women were using one of four contraceptive methods: (1) non-hormonal contraception, (2) low-dose COC containing 20 mcg ethinylestradiol and 75 mcg gestoden or desogestrel, (3) COC containing 35 mcg ethinylestradiol and 2 mg cyproteronacetate, and (4) COC containing 30 mcg ethinylestradiol and 3 mg drospirenone. No cycle effects of sexual desire were established in the COC group, but frequency of sexual intercourse declined in the last days of active pill-taking. These results were similar in both partners. Negative affect did not covary with sexual desire.
ISSN: 0022-4499
Issue: 1
Volume: 53
Pages: 125 - 136
Publication year:2016