Having COVID-19 and long COVID can impact women’s sex lives

BU study finds long COVID has detrimental effect on sex, is associated with sexual dysfunction in cisgender women. Photo: Pexels

(Andrew Thurston/ The Brink – Boston University) — From work to school to socializing, COVID-19 has impacted just about every part of our lives—and now Boston University research has shown that also includes what happens in the bedroom. A study of more than 2,000 cisgender women found the coronavirus disease can impair sexual function, with long COVID having an especially detrimental effect.

“If you’re sick with COVID, you’re probably less interested in sex and maybe your body is less prepared to have sex,” says Amelia M. Stanton, a BU College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences. “But what might be surprising to some folks is that long COVID symptoms really may have a physiological and psychological impact on sexual well-being for women.”

Although previous research has investigated the effect of the pandemic on peoples’ sex lives—particularly in men—Stanton says this is the first study to highlight long COVID’s fallout on sexual health in women. An expert on sexual and mental health, she helped lead the study with researchers from Middlebury College, McLean Hospital, and the University of Vermont. The findings were recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. (…)