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'Normal delivery better for sex life'

Women who give birth naturally may have better sex life than those who opt for caesarean birth, says a study.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2006 13:36 IST

Women who give birth naturally may have better sex life than those who opt for caesarean birth, says a study that warns both prospective mothers and healthcare professionals to think again.

There is a widespread belief among the public and some doctors that women who give birth surgically will experience fewer sexual problems than those who have normal delivery.

But the study of almost 500 first-time mothers in Britain by Brunel University and St George's Healthcare NHS Trust in London challenges that protecting sexual function is among the benefits of a surgical birth, reported the online edition of Daily Mail.

Some women believe that having a caesarean birth will help protect their sex life after they have their baby. But the researchers say women opting for caesarean delivery do not get additional benefits compared to vaginal delivery.

"They would gain relatively little additional benefit from this mode of birth, and could be denying herself a possible vaginal delivery, which is generally assumed to be safer than caesarean section", the researchers said.

The study, published in the journal Birth, has however found that in the long term there is no difference in sexual health between the two groups.

The researchers said they hoped the study would dispel myths about caesarean births and help give women the best information before they make a decision.

"Since consideration of post-natal sexual health may be a factor in driving the current high caesarean section rates, this important message needs to be clearly delivered to both prospective mothers and their healthcare professionals," the researchers said.