Pregnancy and Sexual Relationships Study Involving wOmen and meN (PASSION Study). Journal Article


Authors: Dwarica, DS; Collins, GG; Fitzgerald, CM; Joyce, C; Brincat, C; Lynn, M
Article Title: Pregnancy and Sexual Relationships Study Involving wOmen and meN (PASSION Study).
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Sexual satisfaction is believed to decrease during pregnancy; however, the effect of pregnancy on the sexual relationship in a couple is not well studied. AIM: To assess for sexual dysfunction in heterosexual couples during pregnancy. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of heterosexual pregnant women in the third trimester and their cohabitating partners. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Sexual satisfaction in heterosexual couples during pregnancy was assessed with a self-reported questionnaire, the Golombok-Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 53 couples met eligibility criteria, and nearly all of those approached participated (52 of 53 couples). All couples were enrolled at or after 35 weeks' gestation. The mean age was 29.0 ± 6.4 and 31.3 ± 6.9 years for women and men, respectively. 60% of couples were married, and the remainder were cohabitating and in a committed relationship. When analyzing the results of the GRISS questionnaire for both partners, a significant difference was seen in mean avoidance of sex between women and men (3.31 vs 2.63; P = .047) and non-sensuality (3.54 vs 2.75; P = .040). Women reported more of a decrease in communication about sex when compared with their partners (3.79 vs 3.23; P = .047). Vaginismus was more problematic during pregnancy than before (mean = 4.17), and frequency of intercourse was decreased (mean = 4.93) based on calculated GRISS scores. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Pregnant couples reported decreased frequency of intercourse and more pain with intercourse in women. Women were more likely to avoid intercourse and reported more problems with communication regarding sexual needs. STRENGTH LIMITATIONS: This study is the first to assess both partners in pregnancy. Due to the nature of the study, we were unable to assess other factors affecting the relationship that may result in sexual dysfunction, there was no control group, and the results are limited to heterosexual couples. CONCLUSION: Overall sexual satisfaction and function were not problematic for these couples during pregnancy based on the GRISS scale. Dwarica DS, Garbe Collins G, Fitzgerald C, et al. Pregnancy and Sexual Relationships Study Involving WOmen and MeN (PASSION Study). J Sex Med 2019;16:975-980.
Journal Title: The journal of sexual medicine
ISSN: 1743-6109; 1743-6095
Publisher: International Society for Sexual Medicine  
Date Published: 2019