The Influence of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Sexual Lives of Polish Young Adults

J Clin Med. 2024 Jun 7;13(12):3370. doi: 10.3390/jcm13123370.

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic brought significant changes to daily life in Poland, with restrictions affecting various sectors, including entertainment, education, and travel. The pandemic's impact extended to intimate aspects of life. This study aimed to compare the sexual functioning of young adults in Poland before and during the pandemic, using the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (CSFQ-14). Methods: The research involved an online survey with demographic questions, the CSFQ-14 for pre-pandemic sexual functioning, and modified CSFQ-14 questions for the pandemic period. Sexual dysfunction was determined using predefined cutoff scores. Results: Overall, the study found no significant difference in the sexual functioning of young Poles during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to before. However, there were gender-specific trends. Women reported enhanced pleasure, satisfaction, and orgasm during lockdown, while men faced challenges with erection and ejaculation. A higher proportion of women experienced overall sexual dysfunction compared to men, both before and during the pandemic. This research provides insights into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sexual lives of young Poles. While overall sexual functioning remained relatively stable, specific aspects varied by gender. Conclusions: The study emphasizes the need to consider demographic factors, such as age and gender, when assessing the effects of external stressors like a pandemic on sexual health. Further research is essential to fully grasp these complexities and their potential long-term consequences.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; lockdown measures; sexual dysfunction; sexual health.

Grants and funding

This research was funded by Silesian Medical University (grant no. BNW-NWN-640-2-1-248/24).