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The sex life of individuals changes over time due to several events. In women, pregnancy and childbirth and the postpartum period are the events that influence the sexual behaviors and interactions. Postpartum period changes the women's sexual relationships in such a way that sometimes these changes are followed by significant problems in the couples' relationships. Delivery affects the women's body organs, especially the genital tract, and these changes may cause problems in women's sexual relationships. An Iranian study noted that about 90 per cent of women begin sexual activity after 6 weeks of childbirth. Of this total, 83 per cent experienced sexual problems in the first 3 months and 64 per cent in the first 6 months after delivery.
Some of the most common causes for these kind of sexual problems are maternal duties, sleep disorders, psychosocial changes, fatigue, changes in mental imaging of the body, and breastfeeding that affect sexual function after delivery.Among them, reduced strength of pelvic floor muscle after delivery is the main cause that negatively affects women's sexual function. This shows that sexual problems after childbirth are mostly observed in women who have had vaginal delivery. Loss of pelvic muscle strength is one of the physical changes in the postpartum period and even many years after that, leading to complications such as pelvic pain, urinary incontinence and lack of sexual satisfaction.
Pelvic floor muscles play an important role in the stimulation and orgasm in women. Weakness of these muscles causes problems like decreased blood flow, and decreased vaginal sensation. Several treatments have been reported for pelvic floor muscle relaxation, but none of them is without complications. The Kegel exercise is free, painless, and has no side effects; also, it can be done at any time of the day. Available data indicate that more than 200 million women around the world are not familiar with these exercises and are not aware of their effects. Furthermore, 50 per cent of women do not perform this exercise correctly.
Kegel exercises involve contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. these movements increase blood flow to your pelivic area and help beat stress. This helps boost your sexual performance during intercourse.
To do kegel exercise: Just hold your pelvic muscles for 10 seconds or for as much time as you can and then release them for 10 seconds. Repeat this 10-15 times while standing or sitting.
With reference from
Golmakani N, Zare Z, Khadem N, Shareh H, Shakeri MT. The effect of pelvic floor muscle exercises program on sexual self-efficacy in primiparous women after delivery. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2015;20(3):347-53.
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