Women's sexual/reproductive health and access challenges amid COVID-19 pandemic

Judith A. Berg, Joan Shaver, Nancy Fugate Woods, Elizabeth A. Kostas-Polston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Challenges to women's health in the context of COVID-19 is based on their unique experience shaped by sex/gender. This paper provides clinical practice-, research-, and policy-related commentary on key COVID-19 pandemic factors impinging on women's sexual/reproductive health (SRH) and care access, particularly in the context of pregnancy, childbirth, sexual/gender variations, and concurrent chronic conditions. Women tend to have less severe outcomes from COVID-19 than men but certain sub-groups are more vulnerable than others. Yet few United States studies have disaggregated the data accordingly. Forming a basis for well-informed policy generation, needed is more research specific to COVID-19 vulnerability/risk factors and outcomes for groups of women by age, race and socioeconomic and cultural determinants. Access to SRH-related clinical services has been diminished during the pandemic, making a priority for restoring/preserving inclusive SRH care for women, for example, family planning, healthy pregnancies, age-related disease screening and treatment, and health/wellness promotion. Important concerns include severity of the disease, morbidity in pregnant and postpartum women, increased risk to the fetus, virus transmission to fetus or newborn, and impact of lack care access. Uncertainty in current knowledge is heavily related to lack of sex specific data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-246
Number of pages9
JournalNursing outlook
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pregnancy/childbirth
  • COVID-19 women's health
  • Sexual/reproductive health
  • Sexual/reproductive health services
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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