The duration of sexual relationship and its effects on adverse pregnancy outcomes

Publication date: August 2018
Source:Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Volume 128
Author(s): Prabha Andraweera, Claire T. Roberts, Shalem Leemaqz, Lesley McCowan, Jenny Myers, Louise C. Kenny, James Walker, Lucilla Poston, Gus Dekker
This study aims to determine if a short duration of sexual relationship is more common among women who experience adverse pregnancy outcomes including gestational hypertension (GHT), preeclampsia, small for gestational age (SGA) pregnancies and spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) with or without abnormal uterine artery Doppler compared to women who have uncomplicated pregnancies. 5591 nulliparous women from the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) study were included. The risk for pregnancy complications for women who had a duration of sexual relationship of ≤3 months, 4–6 months, 7–9 months, 10–12 months was compared with women who had a duration of sexual relationship of >12 months. Uterine artery Doppler was performed at 20 ± 1 weeks’ gestation. A short duration of sexual relationship (≤3 months) was more common among women with SGA in the presence of abnormal uterine artery Doppler [9.8% vs 3.0%, aOR (95% CI) 3.4 (1.6–7.08] compared to women who had uncomplicated pregnancies. A short duration of sexual relationship (≤3 months) was also more common among women who had abnormal uterine artery Doppler compared to those with normal uterine artery Doppler [6.1% vs 3.1%, aOR (95% CI) = 2.1 (1.4–3.2)]. A short duration of sexual relationship was not associated with preeclampsia after adjusting for confounders. A short duration of sexual relationship is more common among women who deliver SGA infants with features of placental insufficiency as indicated by abnormal uterine artery Doppler.