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Sex Med Rev. 2016 Apr;4(2):126-135. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2015.12.003. Epub 2016 Jan 11.

Comparing the Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Repercussions of Postpartum Genito-Pelvic Pain and Dyspareunia.

Author information

1
Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS, Canada. Electronic address: nrosen@dal.ca.
2
Department of Psychology, Centre for Neuroscience Studies, and School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Childbirth is a risk factor for developing genito-pelvic pain and/or dyspareunia during the postpartum period and potentially in the longer term. These two types of pain can occur simultaneously or sequentially and could be affected by different risk factors and have a range of repercussions to women's lives, including their sexual functioning.

AIM:

This study reviewed the available evidence to compare and contrast the prevalence, risk factors, and repercussions of postpartum genito-pelvic pain vs dyspareunia.

METHODS:

All available data related to postpartum genito-pelvic pain and dyspareunia were reviewed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

A description of the prevalence, risk factors, and sexual and psychological consequences of postpartum genito-pelvic pain and dyspareunia and the methodologic limitations of previous studies.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of postpartum genito-pelvic pain is much lower than that of postpartum dyspareunia. There is evidence of converging and differential risk factors for acute and persistent experiences of these two types of pain. Postpartum genito-pelvic pain and dyspareunia are associated with impaired sexual functioning. Rarely are these pain experiences examined together to make direct comparisons.

CONCLUSION:

There has been a critical lack of studies examining postpartum genito-pelvic pain and dyspareunia together and integrating biomedical and psychosocial risk factors. This approach should be spearheaded by a multidisciplinary group of researchers of diverse and relevant expertise, including obstetricians, gynecologists, anesthesiologists, and psychologists.

KEYWORDS:

Childbirth; Dyspareunia; Genital Pain; Genito-Pelvic Pain; Postpartum Pain; Postpartum Sexuality

PMID:
27872022
DOI:
10.1016/j.sxmr.2015.12.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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