After childbirth, women may experience physical changes that can affect their genital response during sex. However, those changes may not affect their subjective assessment of sex, according to recent research in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
It is thought that vaginal delivery could damage autonomic pelvic nerves and that this damage could impair genital response. Some of these nerves might remain intact during cesarean births. However, it is not known exactly how delivery method affects the genital response.
The study compared three groups of women:
Women who had had vaginal delivery during the previous two years (16 women)
Women who delivered by C-section within the previous two years (15 women)
Women who had never had children (18 women)
Participants who had delivered children had only done so once.
Each woman underwent a gynecological exam and participated in a structured interview, answering questions about their medical, sexual, and relationship histories and experiences with childbirth. The women also completed the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) as well as other questionnaires designed to assess depression and fatigue.