"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

One in three women experience lasting health problems after giving birth: study

December 8, 2023 – More than one in three women worldwide (at the least 40 million women) experience lasting health problems every year within the months or years after giving birth, in accordance with a brand new study published inThe Lancet Global Health.

These problems include pain during intercourse (35%), lower back pain (32%), urinary incontinence (8% to 31%), anxiety (9% to 24%), anal incontinence (19%), depression (11%) . to 17%), fear of childbirth (6 to fifteen%), perineal pain (11%) and secondary infertility (11%).

Other problems included pelvic organ prolapse, post-traumatic stress disorder, thyroid dysfunction, mastitis, HIV seroconversion (when the body begins to provide detectable levels of HIV antibodies), nerve injury and psychosis.

The study says most girls see a physician 6 to 12 weeks after giving birth after which rarely seek advice from doctors about these distressing health problems. Many of the issues don't appear until six or more weeks after birth.

“To comprehensively address these conditions, broader and more comprehensive health care options are needed, extending beyond the six weeks postpartum and should include multidisciplinary care models,” the study said. “This approach can ensure these conditions are promptly identified and given the attention they deserve.”

The study is an element of a series organized by the United Nations Special Program on Human Reproduction, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The authors said many of the data got here from high-income countries. Little data was available from low- and middle-income countries, apart from postpartum depression, anxiety and psychosis.

“Many postpartum conditions cause significant suffering in women's daily lives, both emotionally and physically, long after birth, and yet they are largely underestimated, underestimated and underreported,” said Pascale Allotey, MD, director of sexual and reproductive health and research on the WHO, said in a statement.

“Throughout their lives and beyond motherhood, women need access to a range of services from healthcare providers who are responsive to their concerns and responsive to their needs – so that they can not only survive childbirth, but also enjoy good health and quality of life .”