Common Sexual Problems After Childbirth – Things to Help Get You in the Mood

Common Sexual Problems After Childbirth

Many women have sexual difficulties after childbirth, such as pain and diminished sex drive.

Sex after childbirth can be a daunting prospect for many women. Whilst nine months of growing a child is an incredible experience, carrying and birthing a baby does have a significant impact on a mother’s body. Antenatal classes offer mothers-to-be information on how their body will change during and after pregnancy, yet one topic that is often overlooked is talking honestly and openly about how these changes to your body affect your sex life.

What are some common sexual problems for women after childbirth?

Generally, women are told to wait about six weeks after childbirth before having vaginal intercourse again. However, even after this time period, some women experience pain with intercourse. They may still have stitches, making the area tender. Vaginal lacerations and episiotomies (surgical cuts that enlarge the vaginal opening to make delivery easier) may still be healing. Some women develop infections or tumors that can cause pain.

One of the most common causes of pain is vaginal dryness. This can happen because of hormonal changes after childbirth. When a woman is breastfeeding, estrogen and testosterone are suppressed, which can lead to lubrication problems and a thinning of the vaginal lining.

Some women find that moisturizers or lubricants can help with vaginal dryness. Moisturizers rehydrate vaginal tissue so that it becomes more elastic, although this can take about two months.

Lubricants add moisture and lessen friction in the vagina. They are used each time a woman has sex. They may be water-, silicone- or oil-based. Some lubricants need to be used with caution. For example, oil-based lubricants are not safe to use with latex condoms. Water- and silicone-based lubricants may contain glycerin, which can cause yeast infections or inflammation.

Estrogen therapy, in the form of a cream, ring, or pill, is another option for treating vaginal dryness.

Low sex drive can also occur after childbirth. This may have several causes: a woman may be exhausted caring for a new baby; suppressed testosterone levels may interfere with her libido, or she may have postpartum blues or depression.

Exercising, eating healthy foods, and spending time with friends can all help. A woman may seek support for postpartum blues by talking to other mothers. If she has depression, she might try counseling.

Once you do start to feel more like your old self again, we’ve picked five of the best ideas to help get you in the mood and ease you gently back into your sex life.

Natural Lube 

Hormonal shifts after pregnancy can result in vaginal dryness and irritation. Personal lubricants can really help to ease these symptoms by soothing and hydrating the delicate vaginal tissues, alleviating discomfort, and making sex much (much) more pleasurable! 

Organic Nipple Balm

Odylique’s Organic Nipple Balm is filled with natural goodies to soothe and protect sore skin from cracking. Soil Association certified and fragrance-free, this balm is safe to use before, during, and after breastfeeding. You can even massage the balm into the perineum after labor to promote healing. Magical stuff!

Nursing Bras

‘Designed by mothers, for mothers’, Hotmilk’s philosophy is to celebrate and empower women by creating a practical, yet a sophisticated and sexy range of maternity and post-pregnancy lingerie. Enjoy exploring what looks and feels amazing on your beautiful new body with this gorgeous collection!

Skin Nourishing Products 

Pamper yourself post-pregnancy with this fab Mother Organic Collection from Neal’s Yard. Apply Mother’s Balm twice daily, the blend of natural oils and beeswax works to increase the skin’s firmness and elasticity, plus reduces the appearance of stretch marks. Then indulge in a soothing soak with Mother’s Bath Oil, filled with uplifting essential oils to relax the senses whilst nourishing the skin. Why not finish off your pampering session with a massage from your partner using Mother’s Massage Oil infused with Neroli and Wheatgerm oil, rich in vitamin E and deeply relaxing. This certified organic collection will help you feel fabulously sensual in no time!

A Post-Natal Family Retreat

You might think that the very last thing that you’d need after having a baby is the fuss of taking the family on holiday. However, these post-natal retreats by & Breathe are a bit of a game-changer. Specifically designed to aid the healing and bonding process for families after childbirth, & Breathe offers a range of retreat packages in various locations, including activities that incorporate fitness, food, and relaxation with expert nutritionists and instructors on hand to enhance your experience. In addition to parent and baby bonding sessions, childcare is available during workout classes, so that you and your partner can enjoy some well-deserved ‘you’ time.

Final Word

Resuming your sex life may take some time. There’s no hard and fast rule as to when you should start having sex again. Many wait for the six-week postnatal check, some don’t but for a huge number of women, it is significantly longer before they feel ready emotionally and physically to resume intimacy with their partner. Everyone is different so it’s important not to rush or worry that there is something wrong, healing takes times and so does the psychological switch that helps you see your body as sexual again. It’s important to take your time. You may feel sore and tired after childbirth, so sex isn’t likely to be your top priority initially. Changes to the physical appearance of your body such as swollen breasts, a weakened pelvic floor, a less than flat tummy, and possibly stretchmarks may take a little getting used to before you feel like having sex again. You may also experience postnatal vaginal dryness when breastfeeding which is very common, due to the drop in estrogen levels in your body. Some of these physical changes could initially make sex less pleasurable than it once was, and it may take a while before the quality and quantity of sex resume to what is ‘normal’ for you and your partner.
Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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