Sexual function, mental health, and quality of life under strain of COVID-19 pandemic in Iranian pregnant and lactating women: a comparative cross-sectional study

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Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2021 Mar 1;19(1):66. doi: 10.1186/s12955-021-01720-0.


BACKGROUND: The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of pregnant and lactating women is unclear. This study aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on psychological health, sexual function, and quality of life (QoL) in Iranian pregnant and lactating women and compare the results with non-pregnant/non-lactating women.

METHOD: This comparative cross-sectional study was carried out on pregnant and lactating women, with non-pregnant/non-lactating women from May to Jun 2020. Patients were asked to complete three questionnaires: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), and Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12). One-way ANOVA was used to reveal the statistical differences between the three groups.

RESULT: The mean age of patients was 20.81 ± 5.92 years old. The mean (SD) score of HADS in pregnant, lactating and non-pregnant / non-lactating women were 12.11 (6.72), 11.98 (8.44) and 9.38 (6.2) respectively, and the results showed that the scores in pregnant, lactating women were higher than non-pregnant / non-lactating women (P < 0.001). Also the mean (SD) score of QOL and FSFI was 68.29 (9.47), 74.18 (12.65), 79.03 (10.48) and 22.71 (8.16), 22.72 (8.16), 26.19 (3.93) in three groups and the scores in pregnant, lactating women were lower than non-pregnant/non-lactating women (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 epidemic increases the risk of depression, anxiety, FSD, and lowers QoL in pregnant and lactating women, with the general population. This suggests the urgent need for psychological intervention in the maternal population during the epidemic.

PMID:33648521 | DOI:10.1186/s12955-021-01720-0