Thursday, February 5th, 2015
No one wants to talk about sex after baby…especially painful sex after baby. Moms may think they’re alone in feeling pain, and be too embarrassed and confused to talk about it.
Turns out, 9 out of 10 women actually experience pain when having sex for the first time after birth. And 1/4 of women still experienced pain even at 18 months.
According to the new study, researchers in Australia gathered data from 1,200 first-time moms — almost half the women had vaginal births while almost 30 percent had a C-section. The women were asked questions about sex at five different times, once prepartum (at 15 weeks) and four times postpartum (at 3, 6, 12, and 18 months).
Women who gave birth via C-section or vaginal vacuum extraction were also two times more likely to have pain, even at 18 months post-birth, than women who had more natural vaginal births. HealthDay reports:
“Two things surprised us, [including] the fact that almost all women experience pain the first time they have sex after childbirth, whether they resume sex in the first six weeks or delay until three or even six months postpartum,” said study author Stephanie Brown, a principal research fellow at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
“Second, there is a common assumption that women who have a cesarean section are less likely to experience sexual difficulties after childbirth,” she added. “That turns out not to be true.”
Although the researched is based on Australian women, women in the U.S. (and around the world) can benefit from having a more open dialogue about painful sex, which is more common than most believe.
Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com who covers baby-related content. She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea
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New Research, Parents News Now
Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Fewer than half of women keep the appointments their doctors recommend they make shortly after giving birth, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Especially for women with complications like gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, those visits are important to future health, the researchers said. More from the university:
The researchers found that women with pregnancy complications were more likely to see a doctor post-delivery, but overall, visit rates were low.
“Women need to understand the importance of a six-week visit to the obstetrician — not only to address concerns and healing after delivery, but also to follow up on possible future health risks, review the pregnancy and make the transition to primary care,” says Wendy Bennett, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and the lead researcher for the study, described online last week in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. “Women with pregnancy complications are at higher risk for some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, and these visits are an opportunity to assess risks and refer to primary care providers to work on long-term preventive care.”
Physician groups, such as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, recommend women with complications like high blood pressure during pregnancy or gestational diabetes not only visit their obstetricians six weeks after a birth, but that they also see their primary care doctors within a year.
For the study, the researchers collected data from one commercial health insurance plan and multiple Medicaid insurance plans in Maryland. The aims were to determine different predictors of receiving post-delivery primary and obstetric care in women with and without pregnancy complications, including gestational or pregestational diabetes mellitus and hypertensive disorders, such as preeclampsia. Women with these conditions are much more likely to develop long-term health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Among women with tax-supported Medicaid insurance, 56.6 percent of those with a complicated pregnancy and 51.7 percent of those without a complicated pregnancy visited a primary care doctor within a year. Among women with commercial health insurance, 60 percent of those with a complicated pregnancy and 49.6 percent of those without a complicated pregnancy did so.
White patients, older patients and patients with depression or preeclampsia were also more likely to visit their primary care doctor.
Of the women on Medicaid, 65 percent of those with complicated pregnancies and 61.5 percent of those without complicated pregnancies had a postpartum obstetric visit within three months. Numbers were slightly lower for those with commercial insurance, at 50.8 percent of those with complicated pregnancies and 44.6 percent of those without complicated pregnancies.
Bennett says providers need to develop creative ways to improve attendance at postpartum visits. A pilot project at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, for example, involves combined “mommy-baby” visits, she says. If the baby’s checkup is included in the mother’s visit, the mother may be more likely to keep the appointment, and thus would receive important education about improving health behaviors and the need for primary care follow-up. Other options are home visits and collaborations with day care centers, community centers and churches to make visits and health promotional activities more convenient.
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