Ah the excitement of a new born baby in the house! I often say, it is like Christmas morning every day when you wake up to a baby in the house.  No matter how tired you are or how many times that precious little package awakens you and everyone else in the house, you can’t help but smile when greeted by the sweet face of a new little cherub.

It is important to know there were significant changes that your body went through during your pregnancy.  Hopefully your doctor or midwife told you that things may feel a bit different, especially when it comes to sex.  Sex is not a subject often discussed once the baby is, born but it is important to know that eighty-three percent of women experience sexual problems in the first three months after their very first baby is born according to a recent study reviewed by Dr Terri Foran from the Royal Hospital for Women. The most common sexual health issues during the first six months postpartum are orgasmic disorder, sexual desire dysfunction, sexual pain disorder and sexual arousal disorder.

During pregnancy, postpartum and/or breastfeeding, there may be changes to the hormones estrogen and progesterone which are produced in the ovaries. During pregnancy, the levels of these hormones increase dramatically. Because they are not discarded through your uterus leading to menses, they form the placenta which provides nourishment to your baby.

Once you give birth, estrogen and progesterone decrease significantly and are at pre-pregnancy levels within twenty-four hours after delivery.  If you choose to breastfeed, your body will naturally produce even less estrogen because it may interfere with milk production.

Estrogen is important for vaginal health and sexual arousal. When the estrogen levels decrease in your body, they also decrease in your vagina. This decrease in estrogen in your vagina may lead to vaginal dryness, decreased arousal and if you do engage in sexual intercourse six weeks after your delivery, may lead to painful sex.

The vaginal tissues may become thin and less elastic and you may notice a small amount of post-coital bleeding. You may also experience burning and itching. Ensure you are drinking adequate amounts of water-based fluids to keep your body well-hydrated.  Do not use anything with fragrance on your vaginal tissues as plain water is the best. Keep in mind, the vagina is like a self cleaning oven so there is no need to use soaps or anything fragrance.

Keeping intimacy alive is the key to sex after baby. Sex talk is vital and many increase arousal and lead to more satisfying sex according to research. It may be helpful to use a lubricant like Glide during sex but a personal moisturizer twice a week may work even better.  The personal moisturizers I recommend are all natural and hormone-free. Some of the personal moisturizers available on the market today are:

  • Repagyn (an ovule that is inserted into the vagina that contains tea tree oil, vitamin E and Hyaluronic acid)
  • Gynatrof (a gel that contain hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E)
  • JoyGel (a cream with coconut oil, hyaluronic acid and African Yam)

Having a new baby is one of the most exciting times of your life. It is important to keep your sex life exciting too. Having a healthy vagina free from dryness is sure to get you back to the bedroom after the baby is born!

Maureen McGrath

Maureen McGrath

Host of the CKNW Sunday Night Health Show on Corus Radio. As a leading women's health expert and Registered Nurse, I understand the importance that sexual, vaginal, bladder and bowel health has on overall health and relationships.

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