Risk of sexual dysfunctions in breastfeeding females: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis

Darya Smetanina, Shamsa Al Awar, Howaida Khair, Meera Alkaabi, Karuna M. Das, Milos Ljubisavljevic, Yauhen Statsenko, Kornelia Teresa Zarȩba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background Epidemiological studies do not provide accurate statistics on the percentage of breastfeeding women experiencing sexual dysfunctions and restraining from sexual activity. The data vary between 40% and 83% in the first group and 20-50% in the second one. Despite excessive studies on contributors to intimacy changes, breast feeding received little attention from researchers. The relationship between lactation and postpartum sexual dysfunctions remains unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis will synthesise available data and establish the link between breast feeding and sexuality problems. Methods and analysis A comprehensive literature search will be performed in biomedical databases PubMed/Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, EMBASE and CINAHL. We will extract peer-reviewed original studies written in English, Arabic or Polish from 2000 to June 2023. We will also search for reports from international health organisations and local health authorities. The preliminary search was performed on 04 April 2023. The studies must provide data on dysfunction prevalence/incidence and the strength of the relationship between breast feeding and sexuality in generally healthy women. The Covidence software will be used to perform literature screening, data extraction and quality assessment of individual studies. We will use a random-effects model meta-analysis to calculate pooled weighted frequency measures and effect size. Between-study heterogeneity will be assessed with the I 2 test. Ethics and dissemination This meta-analysis does not require ethical approval because it synthesises data from previously published original studies. The final work will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at scientific conferences. PROSPERO registration number CRD42023411053.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere074630
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2023


  • Maternal medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk of sexual dysfunctions in breastfeeding females: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this