Contraceptives’ Effects on Sexual Experiences Play a Huge Role in Satisfaction, Study Finds

photo of two people kissing in front of golden balloons

Sexual acceptability – how birth control methods affect users’ sexual well-being – is likely an important component of contraceptive satisfaction, but hasn’t been systematically examined until now. Dissatisfaction with a contraceptive method leads many people to stop using contraception. If people want to use contraception, they should be able to find a method that works for them – and new CORE research indicates that how a method affects a user’s sexual experiences is a key factor in determining whether they will continue using this health product over time. 

Renee D. Kramer, Jenny A. Higgins, and colleagues at the University of Utah examined contraceptive satisfaction among contraceptive users who were starting a new method. They wanted to find out if sexual acceptability measures could be used to predict contraceptive satisfaction after three months of use. Their study was recently published by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, also known as “the Gray Journal.”

Among about 2,000 users, over half were completely satisfied with their contraceptive method after 3 months. Patients who said their contraceptive method improved their sex life were upwards of 8x as likely to be satisfied with their method.

Contraceptive care providers may wish to underscore that sexual experiences of birth control methods matter and encourage patients to find a contraceptive method that works for them sexually.

Read the full study, “A prospective analysis of the relationship between sexual acceptability and contraceptive satisfaction over time” in The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology