Sexual and reproductive health experiences and care of adult women with cystic fibrosis

Traci M. Kazmerski, Olivia M. Stransky, Daniel R. Lavage, Jennifer L. Taylor-Cousar, Gregory S. Sawicki, Sigrid L. Ladores, Emily M. Godfrey, Moira L. Aitken, Alana Fields, Sandra Sufian, Manu Jain, Tara L. Barto, Joanne Billings, Denis Hadjiliadis, Raksha Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: As survival and health improve in people with cystic fibrosis (CF), more women with CF (wwCF) are considering their sexual and reproductive health (SRH). This study compared SRH experiences, behaviors, and care utilization of wwCF to the general population and defined CF-impacted considerations and care preferences.

METHODS: We surveyed wwCF aged ≥25 years regarding SRH and compared results to the US National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG;n = 4357) and friend controls(n = 123). We used descriptive statistics and chi-squared/Fisher's exact testing and linear regression for comparisons.

RESULTS: A total of 460 wwCF (mean age 36.1 years) completed the survey. WwCF were less likely to report current contraceptive use (43%vs76% NSFG, p<0.001;60% friends, p = 0.005). Nearly 25% of wwCF reported worsened CF symptoms during their menstrual cycles, 50% experienced urinary incontinence, and 80% vulvovaginal candidiasis. WwCF were significantly less likely to be parents (46%vs62% friends, p = 0.015) and to have experienced pregnancy (37%vs78% NSFG, p<0.001;58% friends, p = 0.002). More wwCF required medical assistance to conceive (29%vs12% NSFG, p<0.001 and 5% friends, p<0.001). Eighty-four percent of wwCF view their CF doctor as their main physician and 41% report no primary care provider (vs19% friends; p<0.001). WwCF report suboptimal rates of contraceptive and preconception counseling/care and are less likely to have received HPV vaccination (42%vs55%friends, p = 0.02). Despite desiring SRH conversations with their CF team, <50% report discussing SRH topics.

CONCLUSION: WwCF have significantly different SRH experiences than non-CF peers. They report suboptimal SRH care compared to their preferences highlighting an urgent need to encourage SRH counseling/care in the CF model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this work. This study was funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (KAZMER18A0).|

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • Contraception
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Women's health

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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