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Latest News from the ISSM - October 18, 2013 Member Login
Oral Contraceptives Analyzed for Sexual Side Effects

Women who have sexual side effects from certain oral contraceptives may benefit from changing medications, a recent study has found.

Many women who take combined oral contraceptives (COCs) experience problems with sexual function, such as decreased desire and arousal.

It's thought that these issues are caused by the drugs' interference with testosterone. Some experts recommend changing to a contraceptive containing an androgenic progestin, which should not have this effect.

To learn more, Australian and European researchers conducted a study involving 217 women between the ages of 18 and 50 (mean age 30.5).

The women were randomly assigned to take either estradiol valerate /dienogest (E2V/DNG), which contains an anti-androgenic progestin, or ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel (EE/LNG), which contains an androgenic progestin.

Women in both groups saw improvement in sexual function, with increasing scores on the desire and arousal domains of the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) assessment tool. 

Overall FSFI scores also increased, along with scores on distress and vaginal health assessments, indicating improvement.

While the results cannot be applied to other oral contraceptives, the authors explained that their findings challenge "the perception that COCs containing anti-androgenic progestins have a detrimental effect on sexual function relative to those containing androgenic progestins.”

The study was published last month in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Please click here to learn more.

New Research: Erectile Performance Anxiety Index

How can clinicians effectively measure a man's performance anxiety when he has erectile dysfunction (ED)? Our latest research summary provides some insight.

"The Erectile Performance Anxiety Index: Scale Development and Psychometric Properties" by Michael J. Telch, PhD and Yasisca Pujols, MA discusses the development and testing of an assessment tool called the Erectile Performance Anxiety Index (EPAI).

The EPAI is designed to address aspects of ED that are not always thoroughly covered in other ED-related instruments. The authors suggest ways that clinicians and researchers might use the tool.

The study was published online in August in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The summary is available here

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