Why have I lost interest in intimacy?

Monday December 3 2018

After delivery, oestrogen levels fall, leading

After delivery, oestrogen levels fall, leading to lack of vaginal lubrication and painful sex which both men and women dread. 

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

I am a first-time mother who has lost interest in sex. However, I get aroused when breastfeeding. Is it normal?
Santa

Dear Santa,
Because of numerous breastfeeding advantages, every mother should breastfeed, except when exempted due to, especially medical reasons.

Not being interested in sex is very common in mothers after they give birth because it takes time for the birth canal tissues to heal apart from the stresses of pregnancy, childbirth and looking after the new born both day and night without getting enough rest.

Breastfeeding after childbirth on its own may affect sex drive in many women, leading them to prefer delaying sexual intercourse. After delivery, oestrogen levels fall, leading to lack of vaginal lubrication and painful sex which both men and women dread.

Also, the levels of two hormones, prolactin and oxytocin, will rise making a mother feel pleasure from breastfeeding. Then the emotional and physical intimacy needs may be met by breastfeeding the baby resulting in a mother not desiring affection or intimacy from her sexual partner.

In some mothers, the increase in prolactin and oxytocin hormones and sensual touching of the breasts by the baby may arouse them sexually. The breasts being one of the erogenous zones of the body then may arouse the mother and in some cases lead a first time mother not yet used to the erogenous pleasures of breastfeeding, to reach a climax.

Many women will delay sex to up to six weeks after delivery as advised by medics to allow for healing of the female sexual tissues and the psychological issues that follow pregnancy and delivery.

Mothers are advised to attend post-natal clinics at six weeks before resuming sex when they are advised about family planning if it was missed after delivery and screening for cancer of the cervix.

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