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Table 1 Characteristics of included studies

From: Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexual functioning and activity: a systematic review and meta-analysis

First author Year Country Data collection method Instrument Number of participants Age Main finding
Li 2020 China Online survey Self-management surveys via social media platforms 459 (270 men and 189 women) 15–45 Years - 44% decrease in the number of sexual partners
− 37% of participants reported a decrease in sexual frequency.
-Rapid reduction in risky sexual behavior in individuals with risky sexual experiences
− 25% reduction in sexual desire
- Increased sexual desire in 18% of men and 8% of women
- decrease in the frequency of sexual activities in 36% of married men and 28% of married women
- reduction in sexual satisfaction in 32% of men and 39% of women
Yuksel 2020 Turkey Online survey FSFI 58 Women 27.6 ± 4.4 - Increased average frequency of sexual intercourse (2.4 vs 1.9, P = 0.001).
Participants had significantly better FSFI scores before the pandemic compared with scores during the pandemic (20.52 vs 17.56, P = 0.001).
Fang 2020 China Online survey IIEF-5, PEDT 251 Men 28 (24–35) −8.4% reported a deteriorated erectile function, 8.5% reported a decrease in ejaculation control
- Decreased 31.9% IIEF-5 scores and 17.9% increased PEDT scores
- Decreased frequency of sexual life
- No changes in their erectile function
Samir Omar 2021 Egypt Online survey IIEF-5, FSFI 696 (479 females and 217 males) 25–35 - Higher sexual satisfaction before lockdown
−70.5% males and 56.2% females satisfied with their sexual performance
−68.2% male no erectile dysfunction
−97.3% females scored 26.5 on the FSFI
Jacob 2020 The United Kingdom Online survey Self-made questionnaire 868 (men and women) 25–34 −39.9% of the persons reported sexual activity at least once per week.
- prevalence of sexual activity was lower than 40%.
- sexual activities higher in men than in women
Mahanty 2020 India Online survey Self-made questionnaire 262(men and women) NA -Frequency of sexual activities higher in women than man.
- In women lower frequency of watching porn
Ballester-Arnal 2020 Spain Online survey Self-made questionnaire 1448 (471 men and 977 women) 18–60 −37.9% reported worsening of their sexual life
− 35.9% stated that they had a higher sexual desire during confinement, 34.9% had a lower desire and 29.1% unchanged.
- Men report higher traditional masturbation and online sexual activity than women
Cem Bulut 2020 Turkey Online survey IES-R, IIEF-5 359 men NA -Decreased sexual function in healthcare professionals.
Baran 2020 Turkey Online survey IIEF-5 536 men 38.6 ± 10.3 - Decrease in sexual desire in 25% of the participants
Kaya 2020 Turkey Telephone interview FSFI 15 women 33.3 ± 5.6 - Decreased frequency of sexual intercourse and sexual satisfaction
Fuchs 2020 Poland Online survey FSFI 764 women 25.1 ± 4.3 - Decreased frequency of sexual intercourse
−3.2% women feared that COVID-19 could be transmitted during sexual activity
Yasir Arafat 2020 Bangladesh, India & Nepal) Online survey Self-made questionnaire 120 (93 men, 26 women and 1 person, not to say) 35.42 ± 5.73 −76.7% of respondents had sexual intercourse with their spouse 1 to 5 times a week before COVID-19
−45% of the respondents said that the COVID-19 had impact on their sexual activity.
− 72.5% of respondents reported after COVID-19, to have sexual intercourse 1 to 5 times a week.
Schiavi 2020 Italy E-mail FSFI, FSDS 89 women 39 (28–50) -Sexual intercourses decreased significantly from 6.3 to 2.3
Li 2020 China Social media WeChat or Weibo 967 (541 men and 426 women) 26.6 ± 4.86 −22% reported a decrease in sexual desire
- 41% experienced a decrease in the sexual intercourse frequency
- 30% reported an increase in the frequency of masturbation
−10% reported a decrease in risky sexual behavior
Feng 2020 China Online survey Self-made questionnaire 284 (134 men and 150 women) 18–44 −17.6% felt the number of sexual partners has reduced.
−43.3% reported decreased sexual frequency and 44 reported an increase with those before the COVID-19.
- 25.0% of the participants experienced reduction in sexual desire, and 19.0% experienced an increase.
−21.5% suggested that sexual satisfaction has reduced.
− 43.3% reported a decrease in sexual frequency.
Luetke 2020 USA Online survey Self-made questionnaire 2261 (1119 men, 1142 women) NA - Decreased frequency of sexual intercourse
-Decreased solo masturbation
-Decreased partnered masturbation
Karagöz 2020 Turkey Online survey IIEF-5, FSFI 245 volunteers (148 men and 97 women) 35.9 ± 6.9 -Increase in solitary sexual activity (masturbation or watching sexual
content videos
- Decreased frequency of sexual activities
-Decreased sexual satisfaction levels
De Rose 2021 Italy Online survey IIEF-5, FSFI 544 (260 men, 284 women) 31 −65.3% reported a decreased sexual desire, in health care workers it waas lower than in non- Health care Workers
- 91.2% reported a decrease in Satisfaction sexual, in health care workers this was lower than in non- Health care Workers
Coombe 2020 Australia Online survey Online survey 920 (247 men, 673 women)
We excluded men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women (40 participants)
NA - Sex activities in 2019 were higher than during lockdown
-Increase in using sex toys
Cocci 2020 Italy Online survey Self-made questionnaire 1515 men and women 21 - 15.91% no sexual desire and 4.22% less sexual desire than before COVID-19
- 60.79% see porn movies during the COVID-19
- 53.53% no sexual satisfaction
Karsiyakali 2020 Turkey Online survey Self-made questionnaire, FSFI, IIEF-5 1356 (671 men and 685 women) 33.16 ± 8.31 -Decrease in the mean number of sexual activity from 1.86 ± 1.67 to 1.35 ± 2.04 after COVID-
19
-Increase in masturbation frequency from 1.25 ± 1.63 per week to 1.57 ± 2.11
−31.5% participants reported reduction in the number of weekly sexual
Intercourses
  1. FSFI: Female Sexual Function Index, IIEF-5: International Index of Erectile Function-5 items scores, PEDT: Premature ejaculation diagnostic tool scores, IES-R: Impact of Event Scale-Revised, NA: Not applicable