Sexual dysfunction is one of the most serious problems that may occur in the postpartum period and can lead to physical, psychological, and social adverse effects in women. The type of delivery is one of the factors that may affect the prevalence of sexual disorders in this period. The present study evaluated the relationship between the mode of delivery and women’s sexual function in 6 months and one year after the delivery.
The participants of this cohort study included all nulliparous mothers aged 18 to 35 years, who referred to healthcare centers in Sanandaj, the capital city of Kurdistan province, Iran. The sample size for the vaginal delivery with episiotomy and cesarean section (C-section) was 68 women. Sexual function was evaluated using the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) 6 and 12 months after the delivery.
There was no significant difference between the two groups before pregnancy regarding women’s sexual function (P = 0.9) while both types of deliveries resulted in a significant reduction in sexual function 6 months after the childbirth. In addition, vaginal delivery reduced sexual function more than C-section. The mean scores of sexual function were 24.4 for the vaginal delivery group and 26.8 for cesarean delivery (P = 0.01). Finally, women in the C-section group had significantly higher levels of sexual desire one year after the delivery (P = 0.03).
Overall, sexual function in the C-section group was better than the vaginal delivery group 6 months after the delivery. However, this difference was only significant in the domain of sexual desire one year after the childbirth