The impact of motherhood on sexuality

Ginekol Pol. 2021;92(1):1-6. doi: 10.5603/GP.a2020.0162.


Objectives: Motherhood is a beautiful, extremely satisfying time ina woman's life, but also very challenging at the same time. Forty weeks of pregnancy, delivery, postpartum and breastfeeding periods affect physiological and mental functions that may unfortunately hinder women sexuality.

Material and methods: A longitudinal study was carried out. The questionnaire was developed to include a validated tool as wells as socio-demographic and medical data. The completely self-administered questionnaire was provided to patients twice - before pregnancy and postpartum. Finally, 398 women were included in the study and filled out the survey.

Results: Pregnancy and childbirth significantly (p < 0.001) reduce female sexual activity by lowering FSFI score. A similar relationship occurs in the six domains included in the FSFI scale.The number of women who received ≤ 26 points (which may indicate sexual dysfunctions) before pregnancy is 34 (8.54%) and after giving birth it is 167 (41.96%) CONCLUSIONS: Pregnancy and childbirth significantly reduce female sexual activity by lowering FSFI score. The number of women who with sexual dysfunctions increases fivefold after giving birth, and may even reach the value of 40% of young mothers. The role of the medical personnel in maintain women's sexual health is extremely important.

Keywords: desire; intercourse; motherhood; pain; pregnancy; sexual dysfunction; sexuality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexuality* / psychology
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires