Is Reproductive Orientation Associated with Sexual Satisfaction Among Partnered U.S. Women?

Karina M. Shreffler, Larry Gibbs, Stacy Tiemeyer, Julia McQuillan, Arthur L. Greil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Little is known about how “reproductive orientation” (i.e., trying to get pregnant, ambivalent about pregnancy, trying to avoid pregnancy, or having had a sterilization surgery) is associated with sexual satisfaction among women of childbearing age. Using data from the National Survey of Fertility Barriers (N = 2811), we examined the association of reproductive orientation with sexual satisfaction, adjusting for relationship characteristics including union type (cohabitation versus marriage), quality, and length; infertility history; and demographic characteristics including age, parity, and race/ethnicity. Results indicated that women who were ambivalent or trying to get pregnant reported significantly higher levels of sexual satisfaction than women who were sterile in the unadjusted model, but not in the models that included relationship quality. The association of reproductive orientation and sexual satisfaction depended upon relationship quality; among women with lower relationship quality, “trying” was associated with higher, and among those with higher relationship quality, with lower sexual satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2459-2469
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Conception
  • Couple relationship
  • Infertility
  • Sexual satisfaction
  • Sterilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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