Nav: Home

Both parents experience highs and lows in sexuality after childbirth

August 01, 2013

Partners of new mothers often experience shifts in sexuality, and these shifts are often unrelated to biological or medical factors pertaining to childbirth. The findings, which are published in a recent issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, expand current understanding of postpartum sexuality, and may help health professionals as they counsel new parents.

Research on postpartum sexuality has typically focused on female reproductive biology in birth mothers--for example, how hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding affect sexual desire, or how birth-related interventions affect sexual activity. Few studies have looked at sexuality in the partners of postpartum women, even though it may be important for postpartum women's perceptions of their own sexuality.

Sari van Anders, PhD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and her colleagues designed a study to examine postpartum sexuality as a social and relational process, focusing on co-parents. A total of 114 partners (95 men, 18 women, 1 unspecified) of postpartum women completed an online questionnaire about their sexuality during the three months following their youngest child's birth. Attention was paid to physical, social, psychological, and relational experiences.

The researchers found that partners experience shifts in sexuality, just as birth mothers do. The changes that they experienced were linked to relational and social processes, not just biological or medical factors. In fact, low desire in partners was largely influenced by factors related to caring for a new baby--such as fatigue and stress--rather than by factors related to the birth and/or birth mother, as more typically presumed.

"Our findings help to clarify how co-parents experience sexuality in myriad ways that are contextualized within partner and parenting relationships," said Dr. van Anders.

"What is of note is that we have come to recognize that sexual health of one partner may be related to the sexual health of the other, no matter the cause of the change in sexuality. It is important to publish studies in all aspects of sexual health," explained Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
-end-


Wiley

Related Childbirth Articles:

New evidence on the mistreatment of women during childbirth
New evidence from a World Health Organization (WHO)-led study in four countries shows more than one-third of women experience mistreatment during childbirth in health facilities.
The Lancet: Evidence of mistreatment of women during childbirth in four low-income countries
Physical and verbal abuse during childbirth peaked between 30 minutes before birth until 15 minutes after birth, and mistreatment was more common in younger, less educated women, according to a study in The Lancet which combined observations of 2,016 women during labour and childbirth with surveys of 2,672 women post-childbirth in Ghana, Guinea, Myanmar, and Nigeria.
Is headache from anesthesia after childbirth associated with risk of bleeding around brain?
This study examined whether postpartum women with headache from anesthesia after neuraxial anesthesia (such as epidural) during childbirth had increased risk of being diagnosed with bleeding around the brain (intracranial subdural hematoma).
How 'natural-killer' cells might help women avoid a deadly risk of childbirth
Malfunctioning uterine NK cells play a key role in placenta accreta, a condition that leads to over-attachment of the placenta to uterine tissues and can cause extensive bleeding during childbirth.
Migraine increases the risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth
Pregnant women with migraine have an increased risk of miscarriage, caesarean sections and giving birth to a child with low birth weight.
50 is the new 40 for safe childbirth, according to Ben-Gurion U. researchers
'It turns out that 50 is the new 40 when it comes to childbirth,' according to Dr.
USPSTF recommendation statement on interventions to prevent depression during pregnancy, after childbirth
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends clinicians provide counseling interventions to pregnant and postpartum women at increased risk of depression or refer patients to those services.
Let's talk about sex ... after childbirth
Resuming sexual activity after pregnancy isn't always like riding a bike, especially for mothers experiencing postpartum pain, fatigue and stress.
Breast cancer up to five times more likely to metastasize even 10 years after childbirth
Breast cancers diagnosed in young women within 10 years of giving birth are more likely to metastasize, and thus more likely to cause death, than breast cancers in young women who gave birth less recently or not at all.
Delivery method associated with pelvic floor disorders after childbirth
Research completed at Johns Hopkins and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center has demonstrated that vaginal childbirth substantially increases the probability a woman will develop a pelvic floor disorder later in life.
More Childbirth News and Childbirth Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.