Document Type : Research articles


1 Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

2 Associated Professor Psychiatry, Behavioral Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, IR Iran

3 Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

4 Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Paramedical, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

5 Anesthesiology Department, School of Paramedical Sciences, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, IR Iran


Background: Women are exposed to different stressors in life. Physical, emotional, and economic stressors of pregnancy might negatively affect couples’ emotional and sexual intimacy.
Objectives: The present study was designed to perform a path analysis of the correlation of sexual dysfunction with prenatal stress and quality of life.
Methods: In this descriptive, correlational study, 300 pregnant Iranian women were recruited via convenience sampling, based on the inclusion criteria from 4 governmental referral hospitals in 2016. Data were collected using female sexual function index, 26-item world health organization quality of life questionnaire, prenatal anxiety questionnaire, and a demographic questionnaire.
Results: The goodness of fit indices (GFI) in the model indicated the suitability and reasonability of relationships among variables (root mean square error of approximation, 0.023; GFI, 0.99). Quality of life and age directly affected sexual dysfunction, while prenatal anxiety and income were indirectly correlated with sexual dysfunction through quality of life (P < 0.01). Other variables did not show any significant correlations.
Conclusions: Anxiety can decrease sexual function in women during pregnancy. Poor quality of life can also cause sexual dysfunction in pregnant women. Therefore, it is an undeniable necessity to take measures to reduce prenatal anxiety and promote sexual activity during pregnancy for ensuring marital satisfaction. In addition, through such measures, we can maintain/improve the general and sexual health of couples, increase the quality of life in pregnant women, and eventually strengthen family bonds.