Sex after childbirth: why does it disappear and how to get it back? Gynecologist – about difficulties with libido

In the first time after the birth of a baby, sex is the last thing you want to think about: you need to deal with sleep and feeding, physically and emotionally recover, and in general, actually learn how to live again. But sometimes weeks and months pass, and the desire does not return.

The baby constantly requires attention, the mother sleeps fitfully and dreams of calmly going to the shower – of course, after giving birth, it sometimes seems that you can put a fat cross on your sex life. Actually, it is not. But it is very important to understand that you are not alone in this and are not to blame for anything: most women after the birth of a child experience certain problems with sex. And there are objective reasons for this.

Hormonal fluctuations
Immediately after childbirth, the level of sex hormones drops sharply – as a result, libido decreases, and vaginal dryness occurs. This is a natural process – the body signals that it is too early for a new pregnancy. Breastfeeding mothers also have increased prolactin, a hormone responsible for milk production and at the same time reducing desire.

At the same time, all women after childbirth increase the level of oxytocin – the hormone of love, aimed at strengthening the bond between mother and baby. It also promotes sexual pleasure.

If a couple has no everyday problems and harmony in relationships, then most likely, after 1.5-2 months after giving birth, high-quality sex will return – oxytocin helps this.

Physical changes
Our body needs time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth, especially if they were not easy. After a caesarean section, episiotomy, or ruptures, this process may take longer. In addition, many mothers need to get used to their body again, which brought a new person into the world.

Babies require the almost undivided attention of their mother, and rare lucky women manage to sleep soundly and for a long time in the first months after childbirth. In fact, the body turns on the self-preservation mode and turns off the libido: first – rest, and only then all the pleasant activities.

Mood swings
Shortly after giving birth, most women are covered by “baby blues” – emotional instability, blues, tearfulness. The mood can change from complete euphoria to deep melancholy – and this is normal. Against this background, many have conflicting feelings for their beloved partner.

This funny term came to us from the English language, but in fact it is very accurate: a young mother spends so much time in bodily contact with her baby that in rare moments of peace she does not want to be touched.

When will everything be back to normal?
The return of libido after childbirth is a very personal process that depends on many external factors (for example, whether someone helps you with your baby!). Relying on the experience of friends here is absolutely not worth it.

There is an opinion that sexual desire directly depends on the resumption of menstruation (which is possible against the background of breastfeeding). In the presence of a growing follicle in the blood, the levels of sex hormones and endorphins increase. In the periovulatory period (a couple of days before ovulation and a couple more days after), they reach their peak, and this background significantly increases libido. But libido is tied not only to ovulation: the most important thing is psycho-emotional balance, a trusting healthy relationship with yourself and your partner.

The effect of breastfeeding on libido is also not unlimited. In the first weeks, prolactin can suppress sex drive, but if you’ve been breastfeeding for two years and you still don’t feel like sex, it’s definitely not about feeding.

When should you be concerned?
– If the libido does not show the slightest signs of life by 6-9 months of the child, consult a gynecologist. The reasons for low sex drive can be quite unexpected: for example, anemia, prolapse of the walls of the vagina, vitamin D deficiency.

– If 8-12 weeks after giving birth, you continue to experience dryness and pain during intercourse.

– If the lack of libido is accompanied by other symptoms: a constant feeling of guilt, a complete breakdown, isolation, depression. These can all point to postpartum depression.