Thursday, February 24 2011
Question: After having my first baby, I can’t seem to get my sex drive back. I feel unattractive and my body looks different. I don’t want my husband to touch me, let alone look at me. It’s been three months now, and I can’t figure out what to do. I’m afraid this will ruin my marriage.
Answer: While I can’t say I feel your pain, having never birthed a child, I can tell you that you are not alone in feeling pain/ed. According to the experts at babycenter.com, losing your sex drive is typical and, unfortunately, the feeling can last for months.
There are studies, although I haven’t found the source of them, that say postpartum women (at least 20 percent of them) have little or no desire for sex three months after delivery, and another 21 percent have a complete loss of desire or aversion to sexual activity. In an Australian study (again no source here), six weeks was the median time for women to begin to have sex again, but half of those women (and remember that’s median) had initial and persistent problems after they started having intercourse. Another mysterious study found that 20 percent of first time mothers took six months to feel physically comfortable during sex, and still another study revealed that 57 percent of women continued to have less frequent sex a year after their baby was born. Regardless of the origin of these studies, what it points to is that what you’re going through is totally normal (even if I hate the word normal).
On a more personal note, when my friend and fellow sex educator Jaiya Ma gave birth to her son, she lost her desire for sex. If you know anything about Jaiya then you know that this woman has always had more desire than most women for sex, as well as not one, but two loving partners. She says she wasn’t used to her postpartum curves, and sex became painful as a result of scar tissue build up and vaginal dryness. The good news is that after working with another hands-on healer, Ellen Heed, she’s gotten rid of the scar tissue and vaginal dryness, and now claims to be having the best, most pleasurable, deepest orgasmic sex of her life.
You can learn more about her amazing recovery, and the sexual vitality program it inspired here. All I can add is good luck and get rest because sooner or later (or after RSVP), you may need it!
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