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Sexual Functions During Pregnancy to One Year Post Delivery in Japanese Couples

Sexual Functions During Pregnancy to One Year Post Delivery in Japanese Couples

Introduction & Objectives: ‘Sexlessness’ was defined as no sexual contact for one month by a Japanese Dr.Teruo Abe in 1990. The tendency of avoidance of sexual intercourse by married couples in Japan has been steadily progressing, as a secondary cause for infertility due to sexlessness. Herein, we investigated as to how the couples’ sexuality changed during pregnancy and in the period after delivery. 

Methods: Questionnaire and score paper were handed out on the outpatient visit during pregnancy to about 200 antenatal women and also handed out or mailed to about 400 post-delivery subjects in the department of Obstetrics in Kanagawa Prefectural Shiomdai Hospital. Research was carried out from 10 March 2015 to 30 April 2015 with informed consent. Women were evaluated by FSFI (female sexual function index) score, and the partner’s function was evaluation by IIEF (International Index of Erectile Function) score and a questionnaire; the time points were first and second trimester for pregnant women, then postpartum, three month, sixth month and twelve month after delivery for women and similar time points for their partners in this cross-sectional study.

Results: FSFI and IIEF scores were compaired between each group according to the period of pregnancy or the time point after delivery. As expected, the scores were the least for postpartum women. The male partner’s sexuality also decreased leading to a reduction of sexual activities. Particularly, the male partner’s desire in the IIEF score showed spontaneous decrease during pregnancy and after delivery, lasting up to one year. The resulting sexlessness will lead to lesser potential for further childbearing, lesser intimacy and reduced sexual satisfaction.

Conclusions: Sexuality decreased significantly during pregnancy and postpartum. Our study showed long and lasting effect on couples’ sexuality after childbirth. Bodily changes during pregnancy and postpartum are known to last up to two months or slightly more after delivery. Beyond this point, any further effect would be considered psychological and not physical and may result in relationship changes. Any limitation of this study may be covered by follow-up longitudinal studies in future and we will also need better analysis of the various factors influencing their sexuality in this setting.

Areas of Interest / Categories: Sexual Function

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