Purpose: Infertility represents a peculiar social burden affecting more than 15% of couples, provoking it a real threat to the general quality of life and to the sexual health. The medicalization (diagnosis, therapy and follow up) of the lack of fertility is frequently a challenge in term of personal and couple’s involvement. In particular, while the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has allowed many infertile couples to achieve pregnancy, the therapeutic process faced by the couple bears a strong psychological stress that can affect the couple's quality of life, relationship and sexuality. Despite infertility affects both female and male sexual health, only recently the interest in the effects of ART on the couple's sexuality has grown, especially for women. Methods: A literature research on the sexual dysfunction in fertility care and particularly in ART setting was performed. Results: Literature largely found that intimacy and sexuality appear specifically impaired by intrusiveness of treatments and medical prescriptions. Moreover, there is a close relationship between emotional, psychological and sexual aspects, which can be integrated in the new concept of Inferto-Sex Syndrome (ISS) that can impair the ART treatment outcomes. Evidence demonstrates that the assessment of sexual function is necessary in couples undergoing diagnosis of infertility and ART. Conclusion: A close relationship between infertility and sexuality, both in the female and male partners, was detected. ART treatments may heavily impact on the couple's psychosexual health. A couple-centred program for the integrated management of psychological and sexual dysfunction should be considered in the context of ART programs.

The Inferto-Sex Syndrome (ISS): sexual dysfunction in fertility care setting and assisted reproduction

Luca G.;Parrettini S.;Sansone A.;Calafiore R.;
2021

Abstract

Purpose: Infertility represents a peculiar social burden affecting more than 15% of couples, provoking it a real threat to the general quality of life and to the sexual health. The medicalization (diagnosis, therapy and follow up) of the lack of fertility is frequently a challenge in term of personal and couple’s involvement. In particular, while the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has allowed many infertile couples to achieve pregnancy, the therapeutic process faced by the couple bears a strong psychological stress that can affect the couple's quality of life, relationship and sexuality. Despite infertility affects both female and male sexual health, only recently the interest in the effects of ART on the couple's sexuality has grown, especially for women. Methods: A literature research on the sexual dysfunction in fertility care and particularly in ART setting was performed. Results: Literature largely found that intimacy and sexuality appear specifically impaired by intrusiveness of treatments and medical prescriptions. Moreover, there is a close relationship between emotional, psychological and sexual aspects, which can be integrated in the new concept of Inferto-Sex Syndrome (ISS) that can impair the ART treatment outcomes. Evidence demonstrates that the assessment of sexual function is necessary in couples undergoing diagnosis of infertility and ART. Conclusion: A close relationship between infertility and sexuality, both in the female and male partners, was detected. ART treatments may heavily impact on the couple's psychosexual health. A couple-centred program for the integrated management of psychological and sexual dysfunction should be considered in the context of ART programs.
2021
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1555532
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 9
  • Scopus 17
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 18
social impact