Body image and its relationship with sexual function and marital adjustment in infertile women

Akram Karamidehkordi, Robab Latifnejad Roudsari



Background: Body image is related to cognitive, emotional, and physical aspects of women’s life. Therefore, it is expected to have an important role in women’s sexual health and marital adjustment too. This issue seems to be salient in infertile women who suffer from psychological consequences of infertility. This study was conducted to investigate the relationship of body image with sexual function and marital adjustment in infertile women in 2011 in Mashhad, Iran.

Materials and Methods: This correlational study was performed on 130 infertile women who referred to Montaserieh Infertility Research Centre in Mashhad, Iran. Subjects were selected using convenient sampling method. To collect data, valid and reliable questionnaires including demographic and infertility‑related data tool, modified Younesi Body Image Questionnaire, Rosen Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), and Spanier Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) were used. Data analysis was performed by SPSS software using Student’s t‑test, correlation, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Tukey post‑hoc test.

Results: The mean scores of body image, sexual function, and marital adjustment in women were 308.1 ± 45.8, 27.23 ± 3.80, and 113.8 ± 19.73, respectively. There was a direct correlation between overall body image and subscales of sexual function including sexual arousal (P = 0.003), sexual desire (P = 0.024), vaginal moisture (P = 0.001), orgasm (P < 0.001), sexual satisfaction (P < 0.001), and dyspareunia (P = 0.007). A direct correlation was also observed between overall body image and subscales of marital adjustment including agreement and consent (P < 0.001), satisfaction with life (P < 0.001), continuity of life (P = 0.007), and expressing emotions within the family environment (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Improved sexual function and marital adjustment in cases with higher body image provides evidence that one of the solutions to reduce sexual dysfunction and marital dispute in infertile women could be planning educational and counseling programs to improve women’s body image.

Key words: Body image, infertility, Iran, marital adjustment, sexual function

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