Press Release: 20% of Married Women who had Intended to Conceive Delay Childbearing under the COVID-19 and its Strong Association with Decline in Well-being (Associate Professor Matsushima, University of Tsukuba)

A paper authored by Associate Professor Midori Matsushima of the University of Tsukuba and a research group led by Professor Naoki Kondo has been accepted for publication in BMC Public Health. The paper elucidates the association between the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of pregnancy in Japan, and well-being of women who opted to delay childbearing were significantly lower than the women who did not.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 20% of married women who had initially intended to conceive before the pandemic decided to postpone their pregnancy. Furthermore, the study identified a robust connection between severe psychological distress, loneliness, and suicidal ideation during the pandemic, and the choice to delay pregnancy. These findings indicate concerns about the declining well-being of women during times of crisis and the necessity for society to establish comprehensive mental health support systems.

Article: Matsushima, M., Yamada, H., Kondo, N. et al. Married women’s decision to delay childbearing, and loneliness, severe psychological distress, and suicidal ideation under crisis: online survey data analysis from 2020 to 2021. BMC Public Health 23, 1642 (2023).

DOI:  10.1186/s12889-023-16476-z

Press Release (link to University of Tsukuba HP): p20230920140000.pdf ( *in Japanese