Get access

Evaluation of Marital and Sexual Interactions of Polish Infertile Couples


Agnieszka Drosdzol, MD, PhD, Woman's Health Chair, The Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland ul. Medyków 12; 40-752 Katowice, Poland. Tel/Fax: 0-048 32 20 88 730; E-mail:


Introduction.  The World Health Organization defines infertility as inability to conceive despite regular sexual intercourse sustained for a period exceeding 12 months with no contraceptive methods.

Aim.  The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of infertility on marital and sexual interactions among infertile couples.

Methods.  Two hundred six infertile couples were qualified to the study as the research group. The control group consisted of 190 fertile couples.

Main Outcome Measures.  A specific questionnaire was used as a research tool in this study. It included the sociodemographic part, infertility status, and validated scales: Polish version of Index of Marital Satisfaction and Index of Sexual Satisfaction. Statistica 6.0 (Medical University of Silesia; Katowice, Poland) was used in the statistical analysis. The statistical analysis made use of: Mann–Whitney U-test, chi-square with Yates' continuity correction, ancova log-linear analysis of covariance, and logistic regression analysis.

Results.  The study showed a significantly better partner relationship in female infertile as compared with female fertile. Clinically significant disorders of partnership stability were observed in 11.65% of studied women and in 20% of controls. Marital adjustment and sexual satisfaction were comparable among male groups. The probability of marital disorders increased with: age above 30 (odds ratio [OR] = 1.6), female sex (OR = 1.5), and lower education (OR = 1.7) among the study population. Diagnosed male factor and infertility duration of 3–6 years were connected with the highest relationship instability and the lowest sexual satisfaction both in female and male infertile.

Conclusions.  The risk factors of marital dissatisfaction in infertility include: female sex, age over 30, lower education level, diagnosis of male infertility, and infertility duration of 3–6 years. Drosdzol A, and Skrzypulec V. Evaluation of marital and sexual interactions of Polish infertile couples. J Sex Med 2009;6:3335–3346.

Get access to the full text of this article