Female sexual functioning and pregnancy

Cassis, Charlotte (2020) Female sexual functioning and pregnancy. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Sexual function is an important part of human life and plays a significant role in quality of life. Pregnancy and the effects of mode of delivery and perineal trauma sustained have a fundamental impact on physical, emotional and mental
health, all of which play a role in sexual functioning. The topic of female sexual function during and after pregnancy is generally not given sufficient attention by doctors.

This thesis looks at the effect that pregnancy has on female sexual function using the female sexual function index (FSFI), a validated, self-reported questionnaire in a prospective cohort study. The results of these questionnaires were compared in each of the three trimesters of pregnancy and analysed. Another prospective cohort study was performed looking at the FSFI scores for postnatal women who had sustained varying degrees of perineal trauma. These women were assessed at three and six months postnatally and their results compared. Doctors were also questioned on their approaches to discussing and managing female sexual function during the antenatal and postnatal periods.

This thesis found that pregnancy had a negative impact on female sexual function, with the third trimester having the most significant impact. Sexual function improved between three and six months postnatally. Women suffering from more extensive degrees of perineal trauma were more likely to take longer to resume sexual activity. Doctors were found not to be routinely discussing sexual function with their patients.

This thesis shows the significant impact that pregnancy and perineal trauma have of female sexual function and that fact that this is a largely neglected topic by the medical profession.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2020 10:12
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2020 10:12
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/75512


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