The effect of pregnancy on women’s sexual function, body image and pelvic floor functions
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Objective: The aim of this research is to evaluate the effect of pregnancy on women’s sexual function, body image and pelvic floor functions. Design: This is a descriptive and prospective study Setting: Gynecological diseases and Delivery Clinics of an Education and Research Hospital of Turkey’s Ministry of Health. Subjects: Participants had three appointments: one each in the first trimester, third trimester and in the fourth month of the post-partum period. In the first interview, 169 pregnant women were met and the information relating to their pre-pregnancy period and first trimester were taken. The second interview was conducted with 96 women and was taken during the third trimester. Lastly, 61 women were interviewed in the fourth month of the postpartum period. The data was collected during face-to-face interviews. Intervention: None Main outcome measures: The data was collected using the Information Form, The Female Sexual Function Index, Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale, Urogenital Distress Inventory Short Form, Incontinence Impact Questionnaire Short Form and The Body Exposure during Sexual Activities Questionnaire. Result: The ages of the women in this study ranged from 18 to 39 years, with an average age of 26.21 ± 5.68 years. It was found that 49.2% (n = 30) of the women were nulliparous and 50.8% (n = 31) were multiparous. Problems experienced in sexual intercourse were found to be higher during pregnancy than before pregnancy and the postpartum period. Pregnancy and delivery negatively impact women’s sexual function and their body image. Conclusion: Pregnancy causes urinary incontinence, which can negatively influence women’s quality of life. © The Kuwait Medical Journal. All rights reserved.