July 02, 2015

Q: I had my second child almost 8 months ago and I haven't had my libido return. I have no sexual drive at all. When I try to have sex it is very painful, it hurts at the site where I had an episiotomy, it feels as if it were ripping apart. I was wondering if I would ever get my libido back and if I will ever be interested in sex again?

A: A low or absent libido is one of the most common complaints of new moms. There can be a whole host of reasons, ranging from extreme fatigue, to hormonal fluctuations, to a sense of discomfort seeing your body as sexual again. Some new moms begin to see their bodies as being totally enmeshed with their baby, so it is a bit challenging to in effect take it back. And if you are nursing, along with the hormonal involvement, being touched all day by a baby might make you less interested in being touched at night by someone else.  Some solutions to this are to make sure you have some time to yourself, arrange time alone with your husband, and recreate some of the memories which were turn-ons for you. Make sure to have your baby sleep in his or her own room, since many people are uncomfortable getting romantic with a baby in the room, even if he/she is fast asleep. I had a patient who got back into the swing of things by leaving the baby with her mom and meeting her husband for "lunch" at a hotel near his office.

However, in your case it sounds like there also may well  be a physical component. It should not hurt to make love, especially 8 months later, so I would encourage you to make an appointment with your ob to have things checked out. If things are ok physically, it might help to use a good lubricant and take things slow.

Answered by Dr. Alice D. Domar