Couples Who Use Birth Control May Be Getting Down More Often

Photographed By Lauren Perlstein.
This story was originally published on January 28th, 2016.

You probably already know much of what makes contraception so great. Pregnancy prevention, hormone regulation, and reduced STI risk (depending on the method) all rank high on the list of reasons women use it. Now, researchers have discovered another sweet side of birth control: Not only are couples who use it having safer sex, but they might be having more of it.

The new study comes come from a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who analyzed 10 years of data on 210,000 sexually active women in 47 countries. They presented their findings this week at the International Conference on Family Planning.

Led by Suzanne Bell, MPH, the study's researchers found that women of childbearing age who use contraception, and are in marriages or unions, were three times as likely as coupled women who don't use contraception to report having "regular sexual intercourse." Of the women using BC, 90% of them reported that they'd had sex in the previous four weeks, while only 72% of women not using BC had.

The country breakdown also revealed significant differences in the sex lives of couples around the world. A staggering 94% of the couples surveyed in Jordan had had sex recently, the highest proportion of any country studied, while 61% of couples in West Benin reported recent sex, the lowest proportion.

When it comes to BC and sex, correlation is not causation, of course, and there are many reasons why a couple that uses contraception may also have more sex: Frequency of sex could lead to BC use, rather than only the other way around, for example. It stands to reason, though, that reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancy could encourage couples to get down more often, regardless of where they live.

And that's reason enough for us to count this among the many joys of contraception.

This month, we're sharing steamy personal stories, exploring ways to have even better sex, and wading through the complicated dynamics that follow us into the bedroom. Here's to a very happy February.
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