Background: The aim of the study was to twofold: to provide sociological data comparing sexuality both before and during pregnancy for women in developing countries as well as to look for differences in correlation between elements of sexuality and gestational age. Its intention is to help improve communication between physicians and patients in and from countries where social mores and traditions make such conversations difficult and uncommon.
Methods: Participants in the study included 1026 pregnant women at different gestational ages that presented to an Antenatal Outpatient Clinic in Istanbul, Turkey between April 2017 and November 2017. The participants were given a questionnaire composed of 20 questions, 17 of which were multiple-choice. The pregnant women were asked to mark the most appropriate option for them. The questionnaire began by collecting demographic information. Participants were asked to provide their current gestational week, age, weight and height. In another question, they were asked about their gravidity, parity, abortions, cesarean sections and curettage as well as about the presence of any dyspareunia. Questions about libido were evaluated on a 12-point scale based on the Turkish Libido Scoring System.
Results: The frequency of sexual intercourse, orgasm and masturbation as well as the gender of the partner initiating sexual intercourse were compared before and during pregnancy. Differences across gestational age (first, second and third trimester) were also considered where relevant. Notably, the frequency of sexual intercourse and orgasm decrease significantly during pregnancy; however, trends related to masturbation and gender of the partner did not change in any meaningful way.
Conclusion: The frequency of sexual intercourse and related activities were determined to decrease significantly as gestational age increased. Sexual intercourse was determined to be mostly initiated by the male partner before and during pregnancy and this rate was found to mildly increase during pregnancy and the difference was determined to be statistically significant.
Pregnancy, sexuality, dyspareunia, libido
The authors report no conflict of interest.
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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Seyhan Y, Birge Ö, Serin AN, Kayar İ. Investigation of the relationship between gestational week and sexuality. POG in Press. 2020, January; Article 1 [ 11 p.]. Available from: https://ir.uiowa.edu/pog_in_press/ Free full text article.