Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on female sexual behavior

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020 Jul;150(1):98-102. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.13193. Epub 2020 May 23.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on female sexual behavior in women in Turkey.

Methods: An observational study using data from a previous study conducted prior to the pandemic. We compared frequency of sexual intercourse, desire for pregnancy, Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) score, contraception type, and menstrual abnormalities among women during the pandemic with 6-12 months prior to the pandemic. Participants were contacted by telephone for questioning.

Results: Average frequency of sexual intercourse was significantly increased during the pandemic compared with 6-12 months prior (2.4 vs 1.9, P=0.001). Before the pandemic 19 (32.7%) participants desired to become pregnant, whereas during the pandemic it had decreased to 3 (5.1%) (P=0.001). Conversely, use of contraception during the pandemic significantly decreased among participants compared with prior (24 vs 10, P=0.004). Menstrual disorders were more common during the pandemic than before (27.6% vs 12.1%, P=0.008). Participants had significantly better FSFI scores before the pandemic compared with scores during the pandemic (20.52 vs 17.56, P=0.001).

Conclusion: Sexual desire and frequency of intercourse significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas quality of sexual life significantly decreased. The pandemic is associated with decreased desire for pregnancy, decreased female contraception, and increased menstrual disorders.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Female sexual function index (FSFI); Pandemic; SARS-Cov-2; Sexual behavior; Turkey.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / psychology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Libido
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / psychology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Turkey