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Timed intercourse in infertile couples doing more harm than benefits in terms of sexual dysfunction and time to pregnancy: a cohort study
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  • Sujoy Dasgupta,
  • Leila Frodsham ,
  • Paramita Patra,
  • Abhyuday Chanda
Sujoy Dasgupta
Genome Fertility Centre Kolkata
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Leila Frodsham
Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust
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Paramita Patra
Purba Medinipur District Hospital
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Abhyuday Chanda
Quartesian Clinical Research
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Objective: To study the differences in sexual dysfunction (SD) and time to pregnancy (TTP) between infertile couples pursuing timed intercourse (TI- around the time of ovulation) and regular intercourse (RI- at least twice a week). Design: Prospective cohort study Setting: Infertility clinics of Kolkata over three years Population or Sample: Infertile couples pursuing TI (n=283) or RI (n=88), having no preexisting sexual or psychiatric illness, and no medical contraindications to frequent intercourse. Methods: At the first visit, SD of both the partners was assessed using the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). The couples for whom natural conception was possible were followed up to determine TTP using Kaplan Meier Analysis. Main Outcome Measure: Differences in SD and differences in TTP. Results: TI significantly increased the risk of SD than RI for both males (Odds ratio [OR] 15.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] 7.96-29.15) and females (OR 5.52, 95% CI 2.38- 12.78). This difference persisted even after adjusting for age, medical disorders, obesity, smoking, cause of infertility, and previous assisted reproductive techniques. TI carried a higher risk of developing ED, premature ejaculation, male hypoactive sexual dysfunction, female sexual interest-arousal disorder, and female orgasmic disorder. IIEF-5 score was significantly better in the RI group than in the TI. The TTP for natural conception was similar between them (Log-rank p= 0.1365). Conclusions: TI increased the risk of sexual dysfunction without accelerating the time to achieve pregnancy, compared with RI.