Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Women's experiences of sexual intimacy in the early postnatal period following physical birth trauma
Author: Stephenson, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 005X
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Background: Sexual relations are fundamental to physical and emotional well-being. The present study aimed to explore women’s experiences of sexual intimacy in the early postnatal period following physical birth trauma (defined as either a second-degree tear or an episiotomy), considering any sexual intimacy difficulties and their reasons for and/or barriers to seeking support for these. Method: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with five participants, and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results: Five master themes captured the women’s experiences; ‘Identity struggle: The old ‘normal’ versus accepting a new normal’, ‘Intimacy losses versus intimacy gains’, ‘The silent struggle’, ‘Change in relational identity: Transitioning from sexual to parental’ and ‘The missing chapter of the postnatal story’. Conclusion: The accounts uncovered how the women’s bodies, identities and lives had been physically, emotionally and sexually transformed, from a sexual dyad to a parental triad. Their hidden fears of sex causing pain and trauma remained unexpressed and unanswered, due to the absence of postnatal discussions, and a void of information on sexual intimacy or the consequences of physical birth trauma. The clinical implications are discussed with regards to supporting health care professionals to initiate such discussions, through delivering training, consultation, supervision and service evaluations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: BF Psychology