Does post-caesarean dyspareunia reflect sexual malfunction, pelvic floor and perineal dysfunction?

M. Lal, H.M. Pattison, T.F. Allan, R. Callender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim was to define post-caesarean dyspareunia as a sexual and pelvic-perineal symptom. Post-caesarean (80 elective, 104 emergency) and 100 vaginally delivered primiparae had domiciliary interviews at 10 months postpartum. A total of 50 (28% and 27%) post-caesarean and 46 (46%) vaginally delivered, reported dyspareunia. Severely impaired general sexual health occurred in 82 (24% elective, 25% emergency, 35% vaginally delivered) as category 3 (dyspareunia with sexual symptoms) and 27 (10% elective, 7% emergency, 12% vaginally delivered) as category 4 (reduced frequency <6). The risk of dyspareunia (RR 1.14, CI 0.73, 1.77) or impaired general sexual health (RR 0.93, CI 0.32, 2.74) was similar among those with or without perineal trauma. Both caesarean and perineal scars were associated with sexual malfunction. Primiparae with new incontinence had a lower risk of dyspareunia than impaired general sexual health. Awareness of the associations of post-caesarean dyspareunia and impaired general sexual health with incontinence would facilitate appropriate obstetric decision-making. Further research is indicated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-630
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


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