Persistent Genital and Pelvic Pain after Childbirth
ABSTRACT Introduction. Although genital pain and pelvic pain are common and well-documented problems in the early postpartum period, little is known about their course. The few published studies of such pain beyond 1 year postpartum have focused primarily on the perineum and have not assessed pain onset.Aim. To investigate the prevalence and characteristics of all types of genital and pelvic pain in the second year postpartum, and to explore risk factors for their persistence.Methods. Over a 6-month period, a questionnaire on genital/pelvic pain, sociodemographic and childbirth variables, breastfeeding, and chronic pain history was mailed to patients of the collaborating obstetrician at 12 months postpartum.Main Outcome Measures. The prevalence, characteristics, and correlates of persistent genital/pelvic pain with postpartum onset.Results. Almost half of the 114 participants (82% response rate; M = 14 months postpartum) reported a current (18%) or resolved (26%) episode of genital or pelvic pain lasting 3 or more months. Just under one in 10 (9%) mothers continued to experience pain that had begun after they last gave birth. This pain was described at various locations (e.g., vaginal opening and pelvic area), as moderate in intensity and unpleasantness, and most often as burning, cutting, or radiating. Although it was triggered by both sexual and nonsexual activities, none of the mothers affected were receiving treatment. Univariate analyses revealed that only past diagnosis with a nongenital chronic pain condition (e.g., migraine headache) was significantly correlated with (i) any history of chronic genital/pelvic pain or (ii) the persistence of pregnancy- or postpartum-onset genital or pelvic pain.Conclusions. Postpartum genital and pelvic pain persists for longer than a year for a significant percentage of mothers. Women with a history of other chronic pain appear to be particularly vulnerable to developing persistent genital or pelvic pain. Paterson LQP, Davis SNP, Khalifé S, Amsel R, and Binik YM. Persistent genital and pelvic pain after childbirth. J Sex Med 2009;6:215–221.
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ABSTRACT: Pain from the female reproductive tract (FRT) is a significant clinical problem for which there are few effective therapies. The complex neuroanatomy of pelvic organs not only makes diagnosis of pelvic pain disorders difficult but represents a challenge to development of targeted therapies. A number of potential therapeutic targets have been identified on sensory neurons supplying the FRT but our knowledge on the basic neurophysiology of these neurons is limited compared with other viscera. Until this is addressed we can only guess if the new experimental therapies proposed for somatic, gastrointestinal, or bladder pain will translate to the FRT. Once suitable therapeutic targets become clear, the next challenge is drug delivery. The FRT represents a promising system for topical drug delivery that could be tailored to act locally or systemically depending on formulation. Development of these therapies and their delivery systems will need to be done in concert with more robust in vivo and in vitro models of FRT pain.Frontiers in Pharmacology 01/2014; 5:17.
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ABSTRACT: Objective: Despite the fact that a restrictive use of episiotomy has proven to be beneficial, it continues to be widely used in vaginal births. Our aim was to compare women with episiotomy, to women with an intact perineum, 3 months after delivery, regarding several sexual variables, namely: sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, pain, sexual satisfaction and sexual function. Methods: An exploratory, descriptive and quantitative study using a non-probabilistic, convenience sample of 147 Portuguese women, of which 54 belonged to a control group, was performed. The groups were not significantly different regarding socio-demographic aspects. Three instruments were used: the Female Sexual Function Index, a Socio-demographic and Clinical Questionnaire and the Female Sexual Function Questionnaire. Results: Most women mentioned a moderate level of sexual interest. Women with episiotomy present higher pain intensity, less sexual satisfaction, greater changes regarding the orgasm’s duration and intensity, lower levels of sexual arousal and total sexual function, than women with intact perineum. Discussion: We found no significant differences between women with episiotomy and women with an intact perineum in most variables. However, women with episiotomy presented higher levels of pain and a lower sexual satisfaction, being these significant differences.Health 02/2014; 6(5):356-363. · 2.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is limited knowledge regarding the symptom profile of genito-pelvic pain in pregnancy and postpartum, and potential psychosocial predictors of this pain. Prior studies have reported a positive association between prepregnancy pain and postpartum genito-pelvic pain. Greater fear avoidance has been associated with increased genital pain intensity in women, unrelated to childbirth. This relationship has not been examined prospectively in a postpartum population.The journal of sexual medicine. 08/2014;