Sex After Childbirth: Postpartum Sexual Function

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Abstract

Pregnancy and childbirth bring many changes to the health and well-being of new mothers. Postpartum sexual health is a common concern that is often not discussed during prenatal or postpartum care and has received little attention from either clinicians or researchers. In this article, we review current theories of female sexual response, the epidemiology of postpartum sexual dysfunction, and the use of screening tools to identify women with sexual health concerns. Specifically, we present a review of published data regarding the effect of mode of delivery, perineal lacerations, postpartum depression, and breastfeeding on postpartum sexual activity and function. Finally, suggestions for how to screen for and approach the treatment of postpartum sexual problems are presented.

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