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Genital perception and vulvar appearance after childbirth: a cohort analysis of genital body image and sexuality

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2022 Oct 30. doi: 10.1007/s00404-022-06826-4. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: The mode of delivery influences the genital image and perception, especially regarding the effects of delivery on sexual life and intercourse. The current literature has not adequately investigated the relationship between delivery and genital appearance. The aim of the study is to determine whether the mode of delivery changes the genital perception of the woman and, in doing so, influences their acceptance. The secondary aim is to analyze the impact of genital appearance on sexuality.

METHODS: A prospective survey regarding genital appearance and the impact of delivery mode on vulvar perception was conducted in patients 6 weeks after childbirth. We enrolled 365 women for evaluation, divided into three groups: spontaneous vaginal delivery (SVD 295 women 80.82%), operative vaginal delivery (OVD 36 women 9.86%) and cesarean section (CS 34 women 9.31%).

RESULTS: There was a statistically significant difference in the frequency of vulva inspection and in the perception of genital modifications among the groups (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). The perception of overall genital modifications was significantly correlated with the frequency of inspection (p = 0.004) and the delivery mode (p = 0.0002).

CONCLUSION: Mode of delivery may influence the genital perception and appearance of genitalia without a decrease of sexual life and daily activity in childbirth.

PMID:36309906 | DOI:10.1007/s00404-022-06826-4

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