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Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Nov;122(5):988-97. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182a7f3fc.

Childbirth and female sexual function later in life.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; the Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences, Family & Community Medicine, and Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; and the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, California.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine relationships among parity, mode of delivery, and other parturition-related factors with women's sexual function later in life.

METHODS:

Self-administered questionnaires examined sexual desire, activity, satisfaction, and problems in a multiethnic cohort of women aged 40 years and older with at least one past childbirth event. Trained abstractors obtained information on parity, mode of delivery, and other parturition-related factors from archived records. Multivariable regression models examined associations with sexual function controlling for age, race or ethnicity, partner status, diabetes, and general health.

RESULTS:

Among 1,094 participants, mean (standard deviation) age was 56.3 (±8.7) years, 568 (43%) were racial or ethnic minorities (214 African American, 171 Asian, and 183 Latina), and 963 (88%) were multiparous. Fifty-six percent (n=601) reported low sexual desire; 53% (n=577) reported less than monthly sexual activity, and 43% (n=399) reported low overall sexual satisfaction. Greater parity was not associated with increased risk of reporting low sexual desire (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.08, confidence interval [CI] 0.96-1.21 per each birth), less than monthly sexual activity (adjusted OR 1.05, CI 0.93-1.20 per each birth), or low sexual satisfaction (adjusted OR 0.96, CI 0.85-1.09 per each birth). Compared with vaginal delivery alone, women with a history of cesarean delivery were not significantly more likely to report low desire (adjusted OR 0.71, CI 0.34-1.47), less than monthly sexual activity (adjusted OR 1.03, CI 0.46-2.32), or low sexual satisfaction (adjusted OR 0.57, CI 0.26-1.22). Women with a history of operative-assisted delivery were more likely to report low desire (adjusted OR 1.38, CI 1.04-1.83).

CONCLUSIONS:

Among women with at least one childbirth event, parity and mode of delivery are not major determinants of sexual desire, activity, or satisfaction later in life.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

II.

PMID:
24104776
PMCID:
PMC3813451
DOI:
10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182a7f3fc
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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