The Relationship between Mode of Delivery and Sexual Function in Nulliparous Women

Document Type: Original Research Article


1 Graduate, MSc in Midwifery ,Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Lecturer, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad , Iran

3 Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Research Center, Ibn Sina Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background & aim: Sexual activity is one of the most important aspects of a marital life. Childbirth is also a major event in the life of women, and the period of postpartum is a time of emotional upheaval. Since women believe that vaginal delivery could negatively affect their sexual function after childbirth, they tend to give birth through caesarean section. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the relationship between mode of delivery and sexual function in nulliparous women referred to healthcare centers in Mashhad, Iran.
Methods: This correlational study was conducted on 450 nulliparous women, divided into two groups of vaginal delivery and cesarean section in 2014. Suubjects were selected via multistage sampling. Data collection tools included Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), Depression, Anxiety and Stress scale (DASS-21), and Cassidy social support scale. Data was analyzed in SPSS version 16 using Spearman correlation coefficient and Mann-Whitney test, T-test, ANOVA, and Kruskal-Wallis. Moreover, general linear model was used to control confounding variables, and P-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Independent t-test results indicated that mean scores of sexual function in two groups of the study were 26.11±4.36 and 26.38±4.41, respectively, which revealed no statistically significant difference between the groups (P=0.509).
Conclusion: No significant difference was observed between the vaginal delivery and caesarean section groups regarding sexual function. Therefore, it seems that cesarean section does not necessarily lead to pleasing sexual relationships in postpartum period compared to vaginal delivery.