Postnatal depression and sexual health after childbirth

D Morof*, G Barrett, J Peacock, CR Victor, [No Value] Manyonda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the sexual health experiences of depressed and nondepressed postnatal women within a 6-month postnatal period.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study used obstetric records and postal survey 6 months after delivery from a cohort of primiparous women (n = 796) delivering a live-born infant at St. George's NHS Trust, London. Women self-reported sexual problems and sexual behaviors and completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

RESULTS: Of the 796 parturients, 484 responded (61%), and 468 completed the survey questions on depression and sexual health (97%). Of the latter, 57 (12%) fit the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale criteria. Comparing the depressed with nondepressed women, resumption of sexual activity occurred with 77% versus 90% (P =.003), and the median number of specific sexual problems reported was two versus one, respectively (P =.009).

CONCLUSION: Sexual health problems were common after childbirth in both depressed and nondepressed women; however, depressed women were less likely to have resumed intercourse at 6 months and more likely to report sexual health problems. Given the frequency of sexual health problems, postnatal sexual morbidity cannot be assumed to be simply a product of the depressed mental state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1318-1325
Number of pages8
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Volume102
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

Keywords

  • FECAL INCONTINENCE
  • VAGINAL DELIVERY
  • PREGNANCY
  • POSTPARTUM
  • PREVALENCE
  • MORBIDITY
  • COMMUNITY
  • BEHAVIOR
  • PARITY
  • SCALE

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