The relationship between sleep problems and sexual dysfunction among pregnant women in Turkey

Altınayak S. Ö., Rüzgar Ş., Koç E.

Sleep and Breathing, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11325-023-02896-z
  • Journal Name: Sleep and Breathing
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Insomnia, Pregnant, Sexual Dysfunction, Sleep quality
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Sexual dysfunction and sleep problems are common in women. Nevertheless, the relationship between sleep problems and sexual dysfunction during pregnancy has yet to be fully clarified. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between sleep problems and sexual dysfunction in pregnant women. Methods: The study had a cross-sectional design and the sample was determined by employing the G*Power program on the basis of the findings of a related study. Taking the correlation value between the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) into account, it was found that the minimum sample size was 219 pregnant women. Healthy pregnant women who were literate, did not have a diagnosed psychiatric disease, did not have a mental disability or communication problems, were in the gestation period, were not restricted by their doctors in terms of engaging in sexual activity, and who were willing to participate were included. The study included those pregnant women who consecutively attended the NST polyclinic in a maternity hospital in a province in the Black Sea region of Turkey between January 2022 and August 2022. The Sociodemographic Information Form, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the ISI, and the FSFI were used to collect data. Results: A total of 220 pregnant women took part. The women had a mean age of 27.4 ± 6.3. Of the pregnant women, all had poor sleep quality: 61% had insomnia problems; 30% had sexual dysfunction. When the relationships between the PSQI, ISI and FSFI were examined, there was a statistically significant positive correlation between the mean PSQI and ISI scores (p = 0.000). A statistically significant negative correlation was determined between the mean ISI and FSFI scores (p = 0.044). According to the multiple regression analysis, age did not significantly predict sexual function (β = -0.112; t = -1.639; p = 0.103); insomnia severity predicted sexual function negatively (β = -0.146; t = -2.136; p = 0.034). The explained variance was 2.6%. Conclusion: The findings suggest that sleep quality as measured by the PSQI does not correlate with female sexual dysfunction in pregnant women. However, severity of insomnia does correlate with sexual dysfunction.