Health14 Dec 2010 04:30 pm
Hormonal contraception refers to birth control methods that act on the endocrine system to prevent pregnancy. They are made up of female sex hormones: estrogen and progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone). Birth control pills—combined and progestogen-only—are the most common form of hormonal contraception in the world, especially in developed countries, where they account for 25% of contraceptive use. In fact, 4 out of 5 adult American women will take the birth control pill at some point in their lifetime.
The first birth control pill, Enovid, was launched in the United States in 1960. Many joyful women rushed to their doctors to get a prescription for this new “miracle pill,”, which offered them the unprecedented opportunity to exert real control over their reproductive lives. However, the first birth control pills contained high hormone levels, and came with a host of side effects, including significant weight gain, mood swings and even strokes. As a result, birth control pills have been tweaked and refined over the past half-century, and can now boast that they have far fewer negative side effects than the first oral contraceptives. However, fewer side effects do not mean there aren’t any side effects, as a recent German study appears to indicate.
According to a study of female German medical students published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, women taking non-oral and oral hormonal contraceptives were at highest risk of Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). Researchers are not sure exactly why, but they believe that the hormones used to inhibit ovulation may also interfere with the production and release of the hormone testosterone, which regulates libido.
“This is a very important research investigation,” stated Dr. Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. “There are hundreds of millions of women, in particular young women at the beginning of their sexual lives, who regularly use hormonal contraception for many years. The irony is that these women are provided a medication that enables freedom from reproductive worries but these same women are not provided information that there are significant adverse sexual effects that may ensue. Agents that interfere with the hormonal milieu of women may adversely affect their sexual lives.”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.