What are the prevalence and factors associated with sexual dysfunction in breastfeeding women? A Brazilian cross-sectional analytical study

Miguel Fuentealba-Torres*, Denisse Cartagena-Ramos, Inês Fronteira, Lúcia Alves Lara, Luiz Henrique Arroyo, Marcos Augusto Moraes Arcoverde, Mellina Yamamura, Lucila Castanheira Nascimento, Ricardo Alexandre Arcêncio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective This study determined the prevalence and factors associated with sexual dysfunction in breastfeeding women. Design Cross-sectional analytical study. Setting Population-based study of individuals living in the northeast region of Saõ Paulo state, Brazil. Participants From May to August 2017, 372 women aged ≥18 years were selected who gave exclusive, predominant or complementary breast feeding up to 23 months postpartum, and who did not have contraindications for the resumption of intercourse. Pregnant women, those diagnosed with mental health problems, users of medications that affect sexual function (antihypertensives, antidepressants or antipsychotics) and women unable to read or understand the instructions for the study were excluded. Primary and secondary outcome measures The breastfeeding women completed the Female Sexual Function Index, the EUROHIS-QOL 8-item index and a questionnaire to collect participants' sociodemographic, clinical and interpersonal data. A bivariate analysis was performed, and variables with p values<0.20 were analysed by multivariate logistic regression. Results Sexual dysfunction was present in 58.3% of the study population. Factors significantly associated with female sexual dysfunction (FSD) included placing a low importance on sexual intercourse (adjusted OR [AOR]=2.49, 95% CI=1.22 to 5.09), limited communication with the partner (AOR=2.64, 95% CI=1.43 to 4.86), decreased frequency of sexual intercourse (AOR=2.17, 95% CI=1.30 to 3.61) and low quality of life (AOR=2.23, 95% CI=1.33 to 3.74). Conclusions The prevalence of FSD appears with a great magnitude in breastfeeding women. The risk factors for sexual dysfunction are biopsychosocial and these findings may lead to improved counselling for prenatal and postnatal care.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere025833
JournalBMJ Open
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding The study is funded by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) and National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), PEC-PG 9191134/2015 and PEC-PG 9243143/2015.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Author(s).

Keywords

  • breastfeeding
  • physiological sexual dysfunction
  • postpartum period
  • psychological sexual dysfunction
  • sexual behaviour
  • sexuality

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