Sexual Dysfunction After Childbirth | News | Loyola Medicine
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Majority of women report sexual dysfunction after childbirth

Loyola study to evaluate links between pelvic pain, sexual health

MAYWOOD, Ill. (Nov. 25, 2014) – Many women notice that their sexual health changes after childbirth, according to researchers from Loyola University Chicago. Loyola researchers have a study under way to determine the extent to which pelvic pain may be related to this change.

“Many women experience physical changes after childbirth. This can lead to significant disability and impaired sexual function,” said Sandi Tenfelde, PhD, RN, APN, study co-investigator, assistant professor and director of the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) Program, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “We plan to learn more about pelvic pain and its association to reduced sexual function to ultimately improve sexual health for women after childbirth."

As a woman’s body changes during pregnancy and after the birth of a baby, her sexual function may change as well. The recovery to pre-pregnancy levels of sexual health after childbirth is gradual and varies by individual. Factors that can affect postpartum sexual health include body image and perineal pain related to trauma from childbirth. Despite the high number of women affected by pelvic pain after childbirth, the cause remains unknown. The relationship between postpartum pelvic pain and sexual function also has not been extensively studied.

Researchers are recruiting women for this study who are between the ages of 21 and 50 and who have delivered a baby in the past year. The study will help clinicians and researchers understand how pregnancy and postpartum changes affect sexual health and quality of life.

Study participants will be seen at Loyola’s Pelvic-Floor Clinic in Maywood. They will be recruited from across the Chicago area and from the Wellness Clinic for Mothers at the Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge. This was the first multidisciplinary program in the Chicago area to help women recover from pain, injuries and other pelvic-floor disorders related to pregnancy and childbirth.

For more information or to enroll in the study, contact Dr. Sandi Tenfelde at (708) 216-9213.

 

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.