Tears in the vagina, perineum, sphincter ani, and rectum and first sexual intercourse after childbirth: A nationwide follow-up

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The first sexual intercourse after childbirth may be challenging for women, especially if the birth resulted in injuries in the genital area. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not tears in the vagina, perineum, sphincter ani, or rectum hindered sexual intercourse during the year after childbirth. Methods: We obtained information from 2,490 women in a population-based cohort identified at antenatal care. Information about first sexual intercourse was collected by means of a questionnaire sent 1 year after birth to the women and about women's tears reported in the population-based Swedish Medical Birth Register. Results: Adjusted relative risks with 95 percent confidence intervals for not having had sexual intercourse within 3 and 6 months, respectively, after childbirth were 1.5 (95% CI 1.2-1.8) and 1.6 (95% CI 1.2-2.3) for tears in the vagina, 1.4 (95% CI 1.1-1.6) and 1.5 (95% CI 1.1-2.1) for tears in the perineum, and 2.1 (95% CI 1.4-3.1) and 2.2 (95% CI 1.1-4.6) for tears in the sphincter ani and rectum. No statistically significant differences were found at 1-year follow-up. No associations between episiotomy and delay in resuming intercourse were found after adjusting the relative risks. Conclusions: Tears in the vagina, perineum, sphincter ani, or rectum are associated with a delay in women's resumption of sexual intercourse 6 months after childbirth in Sweden.

Details

Authors
External organisations
  • Mälardalen University
  • Danderyd Hospital
  • University of Skövde
Research areas and keywords

Keywords

  • Anal sphincter, Childbirth, Lacerations, Obstetric forceps, Sexual intercourse
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-106
Number of pages9
JournalBirth
Volume35
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jun
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
Externally publishedYes