Fear of Sex Repercussions: It’s debatable how many Cesareans are performed purely because a woman requests one, to make sure her doctor, rather than the doctor on call, delivers her baby or because she has fears about labor or vaginal delivery.
But doctors say some women opt for a C-section because they worry that a vaginal birth will impair their capacity for sexual pleasure. “They fear that their vagina is not going to be as tight,” says OB-GYN Bonnie Wise, M.D. “But the ability to orgasm has nothing to do with how tight the vagina is. It has to do with stimulating the clitoris.”
Fear of Incontinence: While it’s true that in the first months postpartum women who deliver vaginally have a relatively high rate of urinary incontinence—about 16 to 20 percent—the effects typically aren’t lasting or severe. Even women who deliver via C-section have an initial incontinence rate of about 10 percent, simply as a result of having been pregnant. “The weight of the pregnancy for all those months can break down the muscle fibers in the pelvic floor,” Wise explains. Performing Kegel exercises during pregnancy can help prevent incontinence.
Want to see a live C-Section? Check out A Tale of Two Births. Thanks to YouTube you can now watch videos from your home. A Virginia organziation held a best birth contest. Read our YouTube Birth Videos to see the winners.