Factors influencing low sexual desire and sexual distress in pregnancy: A cross-sectional study

Abstract

Background: Sexual desire and sexual distress are determined by emotional, psychosocial, hormonal, and anatomical factors during pregnancy.


Objective: To identify the factors contributing to female low sexual desire and sexual distress during pregnancy separately and concurrently.


Materials and Methods: Overall, 295 pregnant women were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Sexual desire and distress were assessed by the sexual interest and desire inventory-female (score ≤ 33.0 indicates low sexual desire) and the female sexual distress scale-revised (score ≥ 11 indicates sexual distress).


Results: 56.3% and 17.3% of pregnant women met the clinical cut-off for low sexual desire and sexual distress, respectively. After adjusting for the effect of the confounding variables by logistic regression multivariate analysis, satisfaction with body image before and during pregnancy, frequency of sexual intercourse, and satisfaction with foreplay were found to be significantly associated with low sexual desire. Factors related to sexual distress were similar to those noted for common sexual desire, except for satisfaction with foreplay. Other factors related to sexual distress included increased age, fear of abortion, and pregnancy trimester. Factors linked to concurrent low sexual desire and sexual distress were similar to those found for sexual distress, except for pregnancy trimester.


Conclusion: Low sexual desire and sexual distress are relatively common sexual experiences during pregnancy. Several factors could predict low sexual desire but were not associated with sexual distress, and conversely. Comprehensive attention to all of these factors is essential while screening for sexual health during pregnancy.


Key words: Pregnancy, Sexual desire, Sexual distress, Sexual dysfunctions, Influencing factors.

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