Despite nearly four million deliveries in the United States each year, minimal information exists on unintended health consequences following childbirth, particularly in relation to delivery method. The purpose of this study was to assess the association between method of delivery and the general health status, sexual, bowel and urinary functioning of primiparous women as measured at 7 weeks postpartum. Data from the Statewide Obstetrical Review of Quality System (StORQS) Survey of Maternity Care in Washington State were analysed. Participants included all primiparous women with a delivery of a singleton infant discharged alive between August and December 1991 from 10 non-federal short-stay hospitals who responded to the StORQS Survey of Maternity Care (n = 971). The main outcome measures included the modified Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey and self-reported sexual, bowel and urinary functioning. At 7 weeks postpartum, women who had caesarean or assisted vaginal deliveries reported significantly lower postpartum general health status scores than women with unassisted vaginal delivery. Additionally, women with assisted vaginal delivery reported significantly worse sexual, bowel and urinary functioning. Our results suggest that more careful attention to the postpartum general health and sexual functioning of women with caesarean and assisted vaginal delivery may be merited.