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Sexual Distress and Sexual Problems During Pregnancy: Associations With Sexual and Relationship Satisfaction

8 February 2017

Publication Date
January 2017

Original Abstract
Sexual problems are common during pregnancy, but the proportion of pregnant women who experience sexual distress is unknown. In non-pregnant samples, sexual distress is associated with lower sexual and relationship satisfaction.

To identify the proportion of women experiencing sexual distress during pregnancy and to compare the sexual and relationship satisfaction of women who report sexual distress during pregnancy with that of women without distress.

Two-hundred sixty-one pregnant women completed a cross-sectional online survey. Main outcome measures: Women completed validated measurements of sexual functioning (Female Sexual Function Index; score < 26.55 indicates a sexual problem), sexual distress (Female Sexual Distress Scale; score ≥ 15 indicates clinically significant distress), sexual satisfaction (Global Measure of Sexual Satisfaction), and relationship satisfaction (Couples Satisfaction Index).

Overall, 42% of women met the clinical cutoff for sexual distress. Of sexually active women (n = 230), 26% reported concurrent sexual problems and distress and 14% reported sexual distress in the absence of sexual problems. Sexual distress and/or problems in sexual functioning were linked to lower sexual and relationship satisfaction compared with pregnant women with lower sexual distress and fewer sexual problems.

Sexual distress is common during pregnancy and associated with lower sexual and relationship satisfaction. Health care providers should ask pregnant women about feelings of sexual distress. Identifying pregnant women who experience sexual distress and referring them to appropriate resources could help minimize sexual and relationship problems during pregnancy. 

A.Vannier, S. and Rosen, N. (2017). Détresse sexuelle et problèmes sexuels pendant la grossesse : association entre la satisfaction sexuelle et relationnelle. Journal of Sexual Mediciner. DOI: 10.1016/j. jsxm. 2016. 12. 239.

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sexology magazine, sex, sexuality, sexology, french, sexual distress, pregnancy, sexual satisfaction, relationnal satisfaction, couple, sexual problems


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