Psychosexual injury relates to sexual and associated psychological difficulties that arise following childbirth trauma and persist beyond what can normally be expected. These injuries affect a woman’s capacity to achieve sexual fulfilment and consequently impact her sexual interaction with her partner. Some of the medical negligence events that can give rise to psychosexual injury are vaginal tear, episiotomy, sphincter injury, scar tissue and negligently retained surgical items. In medical negligence cases a woman’s childbirth experience and resultant physical discomfort can cause sexual difficulties and associated psychological problems.
Impact of psychosexual injury on female sexual function
A psychosexual injury can affect a woman’s sexual function in a number of ways. In cases where the birth delivery experience results in high levels of residual pain in the vulva, vagina and perinium areas, this prohibits any kind of physical stimulation. Surgical repair of vaginal tears and episiotomies can create areas of scar tissue which are either hyper-sensitive or numb and, in both cases, capacity for arousal is inhibited. With surgical repairs of the third and fourth degree tears there is an increased possibility that women find the changed appearance of their vulva, perinium and anal area embarrassing and consequently avoid sexual activity to remove the opportunity for their partner to see this part of their body. Sphincter injury can cause incontinence which all impact sexual desire. Avoidance of pain, fear of bowl or bladder accidents and embarrassment about the change in appearance of her genital area all contribute to a woman’s diminished or absence of sexual desire after childbirth injury and this can have a serious detrimental effect.
Effects on partner
Psychosexual injury can also impact a woman’s partner both physically and psychologically. Where there is persistent genital pain, a partner can experience anxiety due to their fear of causing further discomfort and may desist from initiating all sexual activity. Evidence reports male partners of women with prolonged genital pain conditions carry the risk of sexual disfunction. The impact of psychosexual injury on couples’ sexual life can give rise to reduced emotional intimacy which risks increased conflict within the relationship without the opportunity for resolution and in these cases the long-term viability of the relationship can be challenged.
It is clear therefore that psychosexual injury relating to childbirth can have a lasting and hugely detrimental effect on the woman herself both physical and psychological which can extend also to her partner.
If you or a loved one have been affected by psychosexual injury relating to childbirth or related matters, our medical negligence solicitors can help you pursue a claim for compensation. We believe in putting you our client first and we are committed to achieving the best result possible while all the time remaining sensitive to your needs. Please feel free to reach out to us below and will be pleased to discuss your case and offer no obligation advice.