Maternal health And Maternal Morbidity in Ireland (MAMMI) - Sexual Health Strand

The aim of this study is to identify if, and how women having their first baby in Ireland experience sexual health problems (SHPs) while pregnant and up to 12 months after childbirth. Within this aim are several objectives: a) To correctly estimate the number of women experiencing SHP while pregnant and up to 12 months after childbirth in 1600 first-time mothers, b) To identify any associated factors, such as, perineal tears, negative perception of body image and breastfeeding for SHPs, c) To develop a better understanding of sexual health after childbirth and SHPs, d) To explore women's experience of SHPs after childbirth and how it affects their lives, e) To determine if women who are experiencing SHPs seek help and what type of help. This will be achieved through following 1600 first-time mothers from pregnancy though to 12 months after childbirth. Different methods of collecting data will be used, a self-completed postal survey will be given to women in early pregnancy and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after childbirth, from examination of women's hospital maternity records and in-depth interviews with a sub-group of women experiencing persistent SHPs 12 months after childbirth. Statistics will be used to identify the numbers of women experiencing SHPs at the different time intervals, to compare and contrast possible associated factors, such as, perineal tears, mode of birth (vaginal or caesarean section). In-depth interviews will be transcribed and examined in detail for shared themes brought forward by women discussing their experience of SHPs. Interviews will specifically explore if women sought advice/help for their SHPs, what type of help they received or did not receive, and would have benefited from. Findings will be made available to all healthcare professionals and the general public though professional journals, conferences, media and women's groups.

Award Date
25 April 2013
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Ms Deirdre O'Malley
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Research Training Fellowships for Health Professionals