Sexual behavior during the first eight weeks after legal termination of pregnancy

Authors

  • Hans Christian Boesen,

    Corresponding author
    1. From the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, H;S Hvidovre Hospital1 and H;S Frederiksberg Hospital2, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
      *Hans Christian Boesen
      Holger Danskes Vej 64 st.th.
      2000 Frederiksberg
      Denmark
      e-mail: hcboesen@dadlnet.dk
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  • 1 Christina RØrbye,

    1. From the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, H;S Hvidovre Hospital1 and H;S Frederiksberg Hospital2, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • 1 Mogens NØrgaard,

    1. From the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, H;S Hvidovre Hospital1 and H;S Frederiksberg Hospital2, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • and 2 Lisbeth Nilas 1

    1. From the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, H;S Hvidovre Hospital1 and H;S Frederiksberg Hospital2, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
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*Hans Christian Boesen
Holger Danskes Vej 64 st.th.
2000 Frederiksberg
Denmark
e-mail: hcboesen@dadlnet.dk

Abstract

Background.  The aim of the study was to describe sexual symptoms and resumption of sexual activity during the first 8 weeks after unrestricted first-trimester termination of pregnancy (TOP).

Methods.  Questionnaires 2 and 8 weeks after legal first-trimester abortion in 1327 women.

Results.  The 8-week questionnaire was returned by 941 (71%). Overall, 51.0% of the women recommenced coitus within 2 weeks after TOP. This figure was significantly higher among women aged 18–24 years (60.6%) than among women in higher age groups (41.7–47.8%). At 8 weeks follow-up coitus was reported by 86.9%, ranging from 65.8% of women not in a steady relationship to 93.7% of women in a relationship (p < 0.001), and age-related differences were insignificant. Long duration of vaginal bleeding, medical abortion and need for reevacuation of the uterus diminished the resumption frequency at 2 weeks follow-up, but 8 weeks after termination postabortion complications did not affect resumption. At 8 weeks follow-up 15.3% reported diminished sexual desire and 6.0% reported diminished orgasm ability comparing to prepregnancy level. Of the sexually active women 6.2% did not use sufficient contraception 8 weeks after termination.

Conclusion.  Coitus is recommenced shortly after termination of pregnancy but not always with sufficient contraception. Legal abortion is associated with few adverse effects on sexual function.

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