Female sexual arousal can change dramatically after giving birth, however a recent study has discovered that a woman’s reduced sexual desire is not determined by whether they give birth naturally or had a C-Section.
Over the course of the study, women were “just as likely to report sexual problems 12 weeks after delivery, regardless of how they gave birth,” according to the report.
While it was noted that complaints differed between the two groups, both had similar sexual related concerns.
“The message for pregnant women is that sexual dysfunction in some aspects or domains is expected and is not permanent,” said Dr. Taymour Mostafa, a sexology and andrology professor at Cairo University.
It’s known that the pregnancy process, as well as the actual delivery, causes physical changes to a woman’s body and sex organs, including painful sex, reduced libido, difficulty climaxing and sexual fatigue. While the problem is common, the majority of women don’t seek medical advice or assistance for these issues.
The research study surveyed 200 women (mainly urbanites) who were highly educated and between 25 to 30 years of age. Each participant was reviewed six weeks after delivery then at 12 weeks postpartum. Fifty-five percent of the women delivered by C-section and 43 percent delivered by natural birth.
It was discovered that 43 percent of women “noticed a difference in sex” six weeks after giving birth; 70 percent of these women recorded feeling pain during sex, and 30 percent experienced “fatigue”. However, after 12 weeks, 38 percent of the participants reported less pain and increased intimacy.
Though both groups experienced sex related issues following birth, the type of problem experienced differed between women who had C-sections and those delivered vaginally.
Women who delivered vaginally suffered from a lower level of desire, were less aroused and had more issues with lubrication than their C-section counterparts; the C-section group had a greater disparity in their level of desire between birth and 12 the week mark. There where no marked differences in sexual satisfaction, the ability to orgasm or the intensity of pain experienced by the two groups.
Fear of pain may greatly impact the desire to have sex.
“Women can also have pelvic pain or perineal (between vagina and rectum) pain, depending on their mode of giving birth, that may also impact not only their desire but their arousal,” said Sandi Tenfelde, a women’s health nurse practitioner and researcher at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University Chicago.