Women receive mixed messages about the ways giving birth may affect their sex lives, according to a new report. Although studies don’t show a difference between post-delivery effects for vaginal births versus C-sections, media messages – especially dramatic reality TV shows – may lead women to be more fearful of what vaginal delivery might do to their sexuality, researchers wrote in the journal – Birth.
Popular TV shows tend to portray vaginal births as negative and C-sections as positive for post-birth sex life concerns such as vaginal stretching or tearing, said study co-author Dr. Caroline Pukall of Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.
According to the National Institutes of Health, however, research hasn’t shown any differences in sexuality after childbirth based on the mode of delivery. “Sexuality is an important aspect of many people’s lives and may be something that they consider when thinking about their birth plan,” Pukall told Reuters Health by email. “Some people may be influenced by media sources when making this decision.”
Pukall and coauthor Jaclyn Cappell surveyed more than 1,400 women who had never been pregnant but were interested in giving birth. The researchers asked about the women’s preferences for delivery, their perceptions about childbirth related to sexuality, and about the influence of various sources of information about childbirth, for example, relatives, friends, health care providers, magazines, television, the internet, etc.
Culled from Reuters