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Effect of Infertility on the Sexual Function of Couples: State of the Art

[ Vol. 9 , Issue. 1 ]


Lucia A.S. Lara, Priscilla B. Salomão, Adriana P.M.S. Romão, Rosana M. Reis, Paula A. Navarro, Ana Carolina J.S. Rosa-e-Silva and Rui A. Ferriani   Pages 46 - 53 ( 8 )


Objective: Assess the state of the art on the relationship between infertility and the sexual function of couples. Data Sources: The PubMed, Lilacs, and Google Scholar databases were searched for articles that assessed the sexual function of infertile couples (IC). Recent patents on this subject were assessed. Study Selection: Quantitative studies published in the English language (case-control, cross-sectional, cohort, multicenter, observational studies, randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, systematic reviews) that used structured and semi-structured questionnaires for quantitative assessment of the sexual function of infertile couples were identified using the search terms: “infertile couple” and “sexuality”, “sexual dysfunction”, “sexual function”, “sexual disorder”, “hypoactive sexual desire”. Data Extraction: One researcher identified 12 studies, and extracted data on 1871 IC. Five studies used different instruments to assess different aspects of sexual function and 7 studies assessed sexual function based on sub-domains of instruments used to evaluate marital relationships. Data Synthesis: Incongruent results due to different objectives and methodologies, the lack of specific questionnaires to assess sexual function, and uncontrolled social and relationship variables that could have interfered with sexual function were evident in most studies. Conclusion: The lack of standardized methodology or validated tools in most studies prevents to establish the impact of infertility on the sexual function of IC.


Infertile couples, infertility, partnership quality, self-esteem, sexuality, sexual dysfunction, sexual function.


Sexual Medicine Service, Human Reproduction Sector, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, São Paulo University, Av. Bandeirantes, 3900 - Montes Alegre, Ribeirão Preto CEP-14049-900, SP, Brazil.

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