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Women’s Sexual Health After Childbirth

Women’s Sexual Health After ChildbirthSexual health issues, such as vaginal dryness and low libido, are common for women after childbirth.

Doctors usually advise new mothers to wait six weeks after delivery before having vaginal sex again. But it may take longer for a woman’s body to heal. She may still have stitches. Any cuts made in the vaginal area during the birth can still be sore.


Sexual health issues, such as vaginal dryness and low libido, are common for women after childbirth. Click here to tweet.


Vaginal dryness can be a problem, too. When a woman breastfeeds, the levels of two hormones – estrogen and testosterone – drop. As a result, the vagina might not become sufficiently lubricated for intercourse. A lubricant or vaginal moisturizer may help.

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.

Finally, it's important to note that although many of the individual issues affecting sex drive after childbirth can be treated, relief may not be immediate. Patience and understanding from partners of new mothers during this time period is essential.


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?”