Impact of common contraceptive methods on sexuality . a study in Hong Kong Chinese women

Impact of common contraceptive methods on sexuality . a study in Hong Kong

Chinese women

R.H.W. Li (1), S.S.T. Lo (2), D.K.G. Teh (3), N.C. Tong (4), M.H.Y.

Tsui (1), K.B. Cheung (4), T.K.H. Chung (1)

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The Chinese University of Hong

Kong, Hong Kong (1); The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

(2); Department of Health, Hong Kong Government, Hong Kong (3); Department of

Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Tuen Mun Hospital, Hong Kong (4)

Background: The combined oral contraceptive (COC) pills, injectables,

intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) and female sterilization are the most

common contraceptive methods used by women. Women’s choice, compliance and

satisfaction with the specific contraceptive methods are influenced by their

personal experience or anticipation about the impact of the method on their

sexual life. Anxiety regarding possible adverse effects of the contraceptive

methods on their sexual life is one of the common concerns. Currently there is

limited data in the literature addressing this issue.

Objectives: The study aims at determining the impact of the

above-mentioned contraceptive methods on sexual function.

Design and Methods: This was a prospective observational questionnaire

study on a group of Hong Kong Chinese women, carried out in the family planning

clinics and general gynaecology clinics of the participating institutions.

During the period between January 2003 and March 2004, we recruited 442 women

who were first time users of the following contraceptive methods: (1) COC pills

(n=117), (2) injectables (n=80), (3) IUCD (n=115), and (4) female sterilization

(n=130). Clients who had a recent pregnancy or abortion within the recent 6

weeks were excluded. Sexual function of the subjects was assessed before and 3.4

months after use of the contraceptive method by a standardized questionnaire.

The questions were adopted from the body image, sexual satisfaction and sexual

drive subscales of the Derogatis Sexual Functioning Inventory (DSFI)(Chinese


Results: We found a significantly improved DSFI score for sexual

satisfaction (p=0.004) and sexual drive (p=0.003) in the female sterilization

group 3.4 months after sterilization. However, the scores for body image were

not significantly different (p>0.05). No significant difference in the sexual

satisfaction, body image and sexual drive scores was demonstrated after use of

COC pills, injectables and IUCD (p>0.05).

Conclusions: The COC pills, injectables, IUCD and female sterilization

all do not have significant adverse impact on sexual function. After female

sterilization, there is a significant improvement in sexual satisfaction as

perceived by the women.

Scroll to Top