Sexual Function and its Relationship to General Health in Postpartum Women
Background and Objective: Satisfactory sexual relationships are one of the effective factors in the survival of the family and protection of community health. Since the disorders in these relationships are considered as worry factor for people’s health, this study aimed to determine the status of sexual function and its relationship with postpartum general health in women referred to health centers of Tabriz in 2015.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 386 women at 10-16 weeks postpartum. The cluster sampling method was used, and the research tool consisted of the socio-demographic questionnaire, Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). The multivariate linear regression model was used to determine the relationship between sexual function and general health.
Findings: The mean (SD) total score of sexual function was 24.3 (5.7) of the achievable score range of 0-36. The mean (SD) total score of general health was 24.6 (14.3) of the possible score range 0-84. A significant inverse correlation was observed between total sexual function score and total general health score (p<0.001, r= -0.78) and all of its subdomains (r= -0.4 to - 0.6). The variables of sexual function, pain during intercourse, husband’s education, satisfaction with the newborn’s gender, and pregnancy type were predictors of general health and were able to explain 63.6% of the variance in the general health score.
Conclusion: Sexual function has relationship with general health in postpartum period at women. Therefore, in order to improve women’s health, health care providers, including midwives, should detect and treat sexual dysfunction in postpartum women in a timely manner to prevent the decline in their general health.