For a study, researchers sought to identify various dyspareunia trajectories in primiparous women and investigate biopsychosocial risk variables associated with these trajectories. A total of 582 first-time moms were included in the study. Validated dyspareunia assessments were administered to participants at 20–24 (baseline), 32–36 weeks of gestation, and 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postpartum. Risk variables were evaluated at baseline and 3 months postpartum, and labor and delivery features were obtained through a review of medical records. To find homogeneous subgroups with unique dyspareunia trajectories, a latent class growth analysis was used. Univariable and multivariable binomial logistic regressions were used to see whether any variables were linked to these trajectories.
The prevalence of dyspareunia varied from 31.4% at 3 months to 11.9% at 24 months. They found two types of dyspareunia, with 21% of women having moderate dyspareunia and 79% having mild dyspareunia, with pain-reducing in both groups until 12 months postpartum and no change thereafter. Prior chronic pain (including dyspareunia), labor epidural analgesia, induction, episiotomy, perineal laceration, mode of delivery, breastfeeding, and whether the woman had another pregnancy during the postpartum period—none of these biomedical factors were found to be significant predictors of dyspareunia class.
In univariable models, greater fatigue (OR 1.30; 95% CI 1.05–1.60) and depressive symptoms (OR 1.08; 9% CI 1.02–1.14) during pregnancy, as well as fatigue (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.04–1.56) and pain catastrophizing (OR 1.10; 95% CI 1.05–1.16) at 3 months postpartum, increased the odds for the moderate versus minimal pain trajectory. Pain catastrophizing at 3 months postpartum (OR 1.09; 95% CI 1.04–1.15) was related to the moderate vs mild pain trajectory in a multivariable model.
They discovered two unique dyspareunia trajectories throughout pregnancy and afterward. Moderate dyspareunia affected one in 1 of every 5 nulliparous women. At 3 months after giving birth, pain catastrophizing was linked to significant dyspareunia compared to minimum dyspareunia.