While many women believe taking the pill diminishes sexual desire, research from the University of Kentucky and Indiana University indicates this is untrue. The study’s outcome suggests that factors such as age and relationship length are what influences the intensity level of sexual desire.
Earlier scientific studies about the effect of contraceptives on desire gave mixed results, so Dr. Kristen Mark and her research colleagues designed studies to determine how different contraceptives affect men’s and women’s sexual desire in relationships.
“Most research doesn’t focus on partners or people in long-term relationships but many contraceptive users are in long-term monogamous relationships, so this is an important group to study,” said Mark.
Using a tool called the Sexual Desire Inventory, investigators queried more than 900 participants about their solitary (libido alone) and dyadic (with a partner) sexual desire experience while using one of three contraceptive types: oral hormonal, non-oral hormonal, and non-hormonal.
Analysis of the data revealed a difference between contraceptive types. Women using non-hormonal contraceptives experienced higher solitary desire, while those on oral contraceptives experienced higher desire with their partner. However, when this result was adjusted by considering relationship length and age, the contraceptive difference was no longer statistically significant.
For women, this means contextual factors (age, length of relationship) are a more accurate way of predicting sexual desire in long-term relationships. “The message that hormonal pills decrease desire is really prevalent,” said Mark. “Our findings are clear: the pill doesn’t kill desire. This research helps to bust those myths and hopefully eventually get rid of this common cultural script in our society.”
Source: Science Daily