Merck Manual

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Postpartum and Pregnancy-Related Sexual Dysfunction

By

Allison Conn

, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Pavilion for Women;


Kelly R. Hodges

, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Pavilion for Women

Last full review/revision Aug 2021| Content last modified Aug 2021
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION

Several factors (physical and psychologic) related to pregnancy and childbirth can make sexual dysfunction more likely.

Risk factors for postpartum and pregnancy-related sexual dysfunction include the following:

If sexual dysfunction, regardless of type, is present before pregnancy, sexual dysfunction after pregnancy is more likely.

Doctors recognize postpartum or pregnancy-related sexual dysfunction when a woman reports problems related to sexual intercourse during or shortly after pregnancy.

Treatment of postpartum and pregnancy-related sexual dysfunction is similar to treatment of other forms of female sexual dysfunction. For example, psychologic therapies and learning about how the woman's body changes during and after pregnancy may help, such as whether intercourse is safe during pregnancy and which positions may be more comfortable (for example, side by side). Doctors may suggest types of sexual activity other than vaginal intercourse, such as masturbation, massage, oral sex, foreplay, mutual caressing, kissing, fantasy, the use of sex toys, and cuddling.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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