This is a descriptive and cross-sectional study aiming to determine the factors affecting sexual life in pregnant women. The study was carried out in 238 women in Malatya, Turkey. It was found that 61.4% regarded coitus as a risk during pregnancy, 31.9% did not have any knowledge about this matter. In 81.5% sexual life was affected during pregnancy. The mean frequency of intercourse was 2.02 +/- 0.7/week before pregnancy and decreased to 1.51 +/- 0.6/week during pregnancy. The reasons for this decline are: exhaustion and fatigue (64.3%); waning of sexual desire (55.9%); harmful to the fetus (49.2%); causing abortions in early pregnancy (45%), and inducing preterm labor (34%). There was a significant relationship between changes in sexual life during pregnancy and the duration of marriage (chi(2) = 10.8, p < 0.05), education level (χ(2) = 18.1, p < 0.05), parity (chi(2) = 11.1, p < 0.05), and gravidity (χ(2) = 6.8, p < 0.05). The variables such as age, employment status, and number of abortions did not affect sexual life during pregnancy. Copyright (C) 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel.