Sexual and Reproductive Health during COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Project Details

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In 2020 we conducted an online survey that explored the impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic on the sexual and reproductive health of people aged 18+ who were living in Australia. We wanted to answer questions like: are people having more or less sex during the pandemic? Are people still using dating apps to hook-up? Will we have a COVID-19 baby boom? Can people still access essential sexual and reproductive health products like sanitary items and contraception? Are people putting off going to their doctor for a sexual health check? You can read some of the findings from our surveys in our study summaries below.

This study has been approved by the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee, ID: 2056693.2. You can read more about the study in our Plain Language Statement. You can contact us at if you have any questions.


We are a team of experienced sexual and reproductive health researchers from the Sexual Health Unit in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, the Department of General Practice and the Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health (CERSH).

Professor Jane Hocking (Lead Researcher)

Dr Jacqueline Coombe

Dr Fabian Kong

Helen Bittleston

Prof Meredith Temple-Smith

Dr Jane Goller

Dr Hennie Williams

Andrew Lau

Louise Bourchier

Prof Jane Tomnay

Dr Sue Malta

Alaina Vaisey

Research Outcomes

Study Summary: Survey 1 (23rd April – 11th May 2020)

Study Summary: Survey 2 (11th – 29th June 2020)

Study Summary: Survey 3 (13th – 31st August 2020)

Study Summary: Survey 4 (24th November – 18th December 2020)

Research Publications

Love during lockdown: findings from an online survey examining the impact of COVID-19 on the sexual practices of people living in Australia, published in Sexually Transmitted Infections, doi:

Contraceptive use and pregnancy plans among women of reproductive age during the first Australian COVID-19 lockdown: findings from an online survey, published in European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Healthcare. doi:

‘I didn’t want to visit a doctor unless it was extremely necessary’: perspectives on delaying access to sexual and reproductive health care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia from an online survey, published in Australian Journal of Primary Health, doi:

Changes to pubic hair removal practices during COVID-19 restrictions and impact on sexual intimacy, published in Culture, Health & Sexuality, doi:

Access to period products during the first nation-wide lockdown in Australia: Results from an online survey, published in Women & Health, doi:

Sexual behaviour during COVID-19: a repeated cross-sectional survey in Victoria, Australia, published in Sexual Health, doi:

Helen Bittleston, Jane L Goller, Meredith Temple-Smith, Jane S Hocking, Jacqueline Coombe: Telehealth for sexual and reproductive health issues: a qualitative study of experiences of accessing care during COVID-19. DOI: 10.1071/SH22098

Research Group

Sexual Health

School Research Themes

Data science, health metrics and disease modeling

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics

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