Cesarean section and postnatal sexual health

G Barrett*, J Peacock, CR Victor, Isaac Manyonda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Cesarean delivery avoids perineal trauma and has therefore often been assumed to protect sexual function after childbirth. We sought to examine this assumption by using data from a study of women's sexual health after childbirth to assess whether women who underwent cesarean section experienced better sexual health in the postnatal period than women with vaginal births. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted of 796 primiparous women, employing data from obstetric records and a postal survey 6 months after delivery. Results: Any protective effect of cesarean section on sexual function was limited to the early postnatal period (0-3 months), primarily to dyspareunia-related symptoms. At 6 months the differences in dyspareunia-related symptoms, sexual response-related symptoms, and postcoital problems were much reduced or reversed, and none reached statistical significance. Conclusions: Outcomes from this study provide no basis for advocating cesarean section as a way to protect women's sexual function after childbirth.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalBIRTH
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

Keywords

  • PELVIC FLOOR
  • CHILDBIRTH
  • DELIVERY
  • MOTHERS
  • DEMAND
  • BIRTH
  • WOMEN
  • MODE

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