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Women’s Sexual Health After Childbirth

Breastfeeding can make a woman’s nipples sensitive and sore, especially if a baby isn’t latching well or if the milk ducts become clogged. Some women ask their partners to avoid touching their breasts until the tenderness subsides.

Fatigue, anxiety, and depression may affect sex drive as well. Being a new mother can be exhausting and overwhelming. Many women don’t have the energy for sexual activity. They may worry about aspects of the baby’s care. And postpartum depression can dampen libido.

Fortunately, many of these issues can be treated. Seeing a doctor is the first step. He or she may recommend a lubricant or vaginal moisturizer for poor lubrication, provide guidance on breastfeeding techniques, or suggest strategies to cope with pain. And a counselor, sex therapist, or support group for new mothers can help with some of the emotional ups and down that may interfere with sex drive after childbirth.

Print this article or view it as a PDF file here: Women’s Sexual Health After Childbirth


International Society for Sexual Medicine

“How do depression and anxiety during pregnancy and the postpartum period affect a woman’s sex life?”

“What are some common sexual problems for women after childbirth?”

“Why do some breastfeeding women experience pain during sex?”

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