Sexual function in first-time contraceptive ring and contraceptive patch users

Clarisa R. Gracia, Mary D. Sammel, Sarah Charlesworth, Hui Lin, Kurt T. Barnhart, Mitchell D Creinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess sexual function of first-time users of the contraceptive ring and contraceptive patch. Design: Open-label randomized trial. Setting: Multicenter study. Patient(s): A total of 500 healthy, premenopausal, nonpregnant women who had recently used combined oral contraceptives. Intervention(s): Contraceptive ring vs. contraceptive patch. Main Outcome Measure(s): Subjects completed the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) before randomization to the study product and after 3 months. Unadjusted and adjusted changes in total and domain FSFI scores from baseline to exit were compared between treatment groups using linear regression (intention-to-treat approach). Result(s): Final adjusted mean total FSFI scores increased by 0.32 points in the patch group and decreased by 0.74 points in the ring group. Subjects in the ring group had worsening scores in the areas of arousal (score change -0.169 ring vs 0.010 patch), lubrication (score change -0.202 ring vs. 0.031 patch), and pain (score change -0.162 ring vs. 0.182 patch). Conclusion(s): Among recent combined oral contraceptive users, slight decrements in sexual function scores were noted with contraceptive ring use overall and in several domains of sexual functioning, whereas slight increases were noted with patch use. However, for both products, these changes are not likely to be clinically significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • arousal
  • contraception
  • desire
  • FSFI
  • NuvaRing
  • OrthoEvra
  • sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Sexual function in first-time contraceptive ring and contraceptive patch users'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this