Indexed on: 25 Apr '12Published on: 25 Apr '12Published in: The Journal of Sexual Medicine
Female sexual function is negatively influenced by pregnancy due to the physical and emotional changes. Although the most significant effect is seen in the third trimester of pregnancy, a considerable decrease in the frequency of intercourse and sexual desire in the first trimester has also been shown.To investigate the factors that affect sexuality in early pregnancy and the impact of awareness of pregnancy on female sexual function in the first trimester of pregnancy using two self-reported questionnaires.In this cross-sectional study, 130 healthy, married pregnant women who were admitted to the gynecology clinic between the 4th and 10th week of gestation were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire and the female sexual function index (FSFI).The factors associated with FSFI score and monthly sexual activity frequency in the first trimester, as well as the differences in sexual activity frequency and FSFI scores between the women who were previously aware of their pregnancy and those who were yet unaware of their pregnancy.Women who were unaware of their pregnancy had significantly higher coitus frequency in comparison with the aware group (P = 0.002). Total FSFI score was 21.99 ± 8.13 in the aware group and 24.66 ± 3.76 in the unaware group (P = 0.02). None of the obstetric and sociodemographic variables had an influence on desire and pain scores. Arousal, lubrication, and satisfaction scores were adversely affected by awareness of pregnancy. Orgasm scores were influenced negatively by awareness and positively by love marriage; however, in multivariate linear regression analysis none of these were defined as independent factor for orgasm scores. Overall FSFI scores and monthly frequency of sexual activity were only affected by awareness.The results of this study suggest that in early gestation, awareness of pregnancy is associated with lower female sexual function. Furthermore, obstetric and sociodemographic factors seem to be ineffective on sexual function in early pregnancy.