The relationships between induced abortion, attitudes towards sexuality and sexual problems
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This study aimed to investigate whether abortion is associated with (i) changes in attitudes and feelings towards sexual matters (erotophobia-erotophilia), (ii) sexual problems, and (iii) whether erotophobia-erotophilia and sexual problems are associated. Ninety-eight women having a first-trimester abortion were investigated together with a comparison sample of 51 non-pregnant women. Standardised questionnaires assessing sexual problems and attitudes and feelings towards sexual matters were completed by the study sample (prior to and 2 months after abortion) and the non-pregnant comparison sample. The findings indicated that attitudes and feelings towards sexual matters were similar in the study and comparison sample, and were more positive 2 months after the abortion than prior to it. More sexual problems were experienced following the discovery of the pregnancy than prior to the pregnancy or in the 2 months after abortion. Levels of sexual problems reported by the study sample prior to pregnancy and by the comparison sample were similar. Erotophobia-erotophilia and sexual problems were moderately correlated in the study sample. In conclusion, becoming pregnant did not appear to affect erotophobia-erotophilia, but having the abortion was followed by more positive attitudes and feelings towards sexual matters. Becoming pregnant had short-term negative effects on sexual relationships but these were not sustained following abortion. © British Association for Sexual and Relationship Therapy.