Copyright ©2012 Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Obstet Gynecol. Aug 10, 2012; 1(2): 14-16
Published online Aug 10, 2012. doi: 10.5317/wjog.v1.i2.14
Sexuality after childbirth: Gaps and needs
Marjan Khajehei
Marjan Khajehei, Department of Sexology, School of Public Health, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia
Author contributions: Khajehei M solely contributed to this paper.
Correspondence to: Marjan Khajehei, PhD, Department of Sexology, School of Public Health, Building 400, Bentley Campus, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia. mar_far76@yaho.com
Telephone: +61-401-910967
Received: March 28, 2012
Revised: July 27, 2012
Accepted: July 30, 2012
Published online: August 10, 2012

Childbirth is a stressful event for a majority of women and can have many consequences one of which is female sexual dysfunction. The main aim of pre- and postnatal health services is to fulfil physical and emotional needs of mothers and babies but not sexual function of women. Also, the fact that sexual satisfaction is part of general well being and mental health is generally neglected. Sexual function of women not only is affected by childbirth, but also is influenced by many other factors. One of these factors is culture and religion. Women’s sexual life after childbirth has different meaning in different cultures. In many conservative societies with certain cultural and religious beliefs women are prohibited from having sex after childbirth. In these societies, women hear conflicting stories about risks and benefits of having sexual intercourse during postpartum period the majority of which may not be true. It has been reported that some women may be at greater risk of postpartum sexual dysfunction as neurobiological factors and genetics have been recently suggested to impact female sexual functioning. Considering the multidimensional nature of female sexual dysfunction, this problem cannot be resolved by a simple solution and not all postpartum women can be treated by the same protocol. Various treatment options, such as the use of medications, behavioural interventions and psychotherapy have been investigated in research studies and there is still controversy over the issue. Regarding the fact that sexually satisfied women are more mentally healthy, routine screening during prenatal, antenatal and postnatal visits are suggested to uncover hidden difficulties with sexual functioning of women and improve their quality of life.

Keywords: Childbirth, Postpartum, Sexual dysfunction, Investigation, Intervention