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Understanding women's postpartum sexual experiences.

Authors
  • DeMaria, Andrea L1
  • Delay, Cara2
  • Sundstrom, Beth3
  • Wakefield, Audrey L1
  • Avina, Angel4
  • Meier, Stephanie1
  • 1 College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
  • 2 Department of History, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.
  • 3 Department of Communication, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.
  • 4 Department of Consumer Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Culture, health & sexuality
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2019
Volume
21
Issue
10
Pages
1162–1176
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2018.1543802
PMID: 30624136
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study aimed to understand women's sexual health experiences, specifically knowledge, attitudes and norms related to sexual behaviour resumption during the postpartum period. Semi-structured, reproductive health-focused interviews (N = 70) were conducted among women aged 18 years or older (range: 19-78) residing in South Carolina. Findings demonstrated that women identified clinicians as most influential concerning when they should and could resume sexual activity. Some women noted returning to sex earlier than anticipated due to personal and partner desire and indicated achieving considerable sexual satisfaction during the postpartum period. However, other participants noted difficulties resuming sexual activity, including pain and exhaustion from caring for a new baby. Findings provide practical recommendations for health professionals to further develop tailored, timely health messaging related to safe and healthy postpartum sexual behaviours. We discuss recommendations for health professionals to bring further awareness to varied postpartum sexual experiences.

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