Decreased Sex Drive After Baby

Dr. Elizabeth Pryor answers the question, Why am I not in the mood anymore since my baby was born?
Sex After Baby: Your Sex Drive After Baby
Sex After Baby: Your Sex Drive After Baby

Question

Since my baby was born, I haven't had any interest in sex. My husband tries to get me in the mood, but I just can't seem to get my body to respond. What's going on, and what can I do?

Answer

This is a very common problem, particularly after the first baby. Your body has been through many changes, and these changes will affect your sexual drive after you deliver. The effects of stress and worry that a new mother experiences should not be overlooked. You're probably getting less sleep, possibly feeling a touch of postpartum blues caused by hormonal fluctuations, and grappling with a very different body image than before your pregnancy. You need to be patient with yourself and know that this is a temporary problem.

Breastfeeding can play a significant role in diminished sexual interest as well. Estrogen is an important hormone that decreases with breastfeeding and this can affect your vaginal tissues. The most common vaginal side effects of decreased estrogen are dryness and a "pins and needles" feeling during intercourse. Understandably, this has a negative effect on your mood. When you resume relations, it's important to use lubricants to help protect the tissues and minimize the discomfort of vaginal dryness.

Your husband should understand that patience and reassurance, and not saying "This is just in your mind," is the key to helping you regain your interest in sex. Don't rush yourself. Instead, indulge in other forms of closeness and physical pleasure such as massages or long, hot showers.

If several months go by without any improvement at all, talk with your gynecologist. She can examine you to rule out any other potential causes for your decreased libido.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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