Women’s Sex Life After Childbirth Unaffected By Type Of Delivery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alexandre Faisal-Cury, MD, PhD
Departamento de Medicina Preventiva, Faculdade de Medicina
Universidade de São Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response:  Childbirth and the postpartum period represent a major life transition and usually have a substantial impact on the sexual adjustment for both mothers and fathers. Not all women adapt well to the psychological and biological changes. A variety of reasons have been implicated for the deterioration of sexual life including marital conflicts, depression and economic strains. There is conflicting evidence about the role of mode of delivery (MD) on sexual health outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate prospectively, up to 18 months after delivery, the association between mode of delivery and sexual health outcomes after childbirth, namely later resumption of sexual life, presence of sexual desire, and self-report of sexual life decline. 831 pregnant women were recruited from primary care clinics of the public sector in São Paulo, Brazil. Three types of delivery were used: uncomplicated vaginal delivery (spontaneous vaginal delivery without episiotomy or any kind of perineal laceration); complicated vaginal delivery (either forceps or normal, with episiotomy or any kind of perineal laceration) and cesarean delivery.

Our mains results showed that one hundred and forty one women (21.9%) resumed sexual life three or more months after delivery. Although 87.1% of women had desire, self-report of sexual life decline occurred in 21.1% of the cohort. No associations were found between mode of delivery and sexual health outcomes.

The key message for clinicians and patients is that women’s sexuality after childbirth is not influenced by the type of delivery. Efforts to improve the treatment of sexual problems after childbirth should focus beyond the mode of delivery. Despite of the fact, that the mode of delivery is not associated with sexual health outcomes, sexual dysfunction was quite frequent among our sample. Decline of sexual life after childbirth may have a negative impact on several domains of women’s life. Therefore, health professionals should address sexuality concerns as an essential component in the practice standards during and beyond the postpartum period.

Future research about the association between type of delivery and sexuality after childbirth should assess mechanisms associated more with psychological than organic factors.


The Relationship Between Mode of Delivery and Sexual Health Outcomes after Childbirth

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Alexandre Faisal-Cury, Paulo Rossi Menezes, Julieta Quayle, Alicia Matijasevich and Simone Grilo Diniz

Article first published online : 9 APR 2015, DOI: 10.1111/jsm.12883

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexandre Faisal-Cury, MD, PhD (2015). Women’s Sex Life After Childbirth Unaffected By Type Of Delivery m

Last Updated on April 11, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD