The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on reproductive intentions among the Polish population

Ginekol Pol. 2021 Jul 15. doi: 10.5603/GP.a2021.0135. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: The study was conducted in order to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fertility intentions among the Polish population.

Material and methods: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based online study was carried out among Polish adults in order to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the reproductive plans of the Polish society. A total of 984 participants correctly completed the survey.

Results: The pandemic has affected the reproductive intentions of 22% (n = 216) of the respondents, most of them want to have a child later than they previously planned (74.1%). The relationship between the change in reproductive intentions and the concerns about the pandemic was found. Most of those who changed their plans were afraid that the access to prenatal care and delivery services could be limited (86.6%) or were afraid about giving birth at the hospital (81%). More than half (51.9%) of those who changed reproductive plans were afraid of losing their income and 40.3% had already experienced a decrease in their income. The change in partner's emotional relationships was also observed. More than half of respondents (56.7%) admitted that during the pandemic they had developed a deeper emotional relationship with their partners or felt more emotionally supported (56.6%). Most participants responded that the frequency of their sexual intercourses was not affected (66.7%) and that they had not experienced limited access to contraceptives (95.1%) during the pandemic.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Polish people's reproductive intentions. Concerns related to healthcare access and the economic difficulties have the most significant impact.

Keywords: COVID‐19; pandemic; reproduction; reproductive health.