Sex after having a baby? Many women can sum up that response with a Randy Jackson quote. “That’s gonna be a no from me, dog.”
If your body just doesn’t feel the same in the following weeks or months of having a baby, you’re not alone. We call this sexual dysfunction, which just means you’re not experiencing sex the way you usually do. That can look like a lack of sexual desire/interest, not being aroused easily, having pain during intercourse, or even an absence of orgasm. And we don’t mean the “just still have to train my partner to do that thing” type of absence.
Studies have shown that sexual dysfunction can affect anywhere from 41% to 83% of women in the first three months of postpartum, and up to 64% at six months postpartum. That’s a long time to go without a release!
This week, we’re combatting the stigma that women don’t need sex (or, more importantly, orgasms) postpartum. In actuality, it’s both emotionally and physically healthy for you to get back in the game. Let’s break it down.
The Pros of Sex for Men
Hahahahaha – we’re just kidding. Men don’t need any more reasons to say yes to sex. All we’ll say is that regular ejaculation does lead to better prostate health for men. So, feel free to tell him you’re welcome next time you’ve finished up in the bedroom. Moving on!
Reasons Women Say “No” to Sex
There are a million reasons your libido might not be what it once was. In truth, everyone’s sexual habits ebb and flow throughout life, depending on hormones, babies, age, mental health, stress, outside circumstances… you get the picture. In this specific realm of postpartum, though, here are some of the more common reasons you might not be feeling like intercourse.
You’re feeling touched out.
Having a baby means you’ve gone from being a single entity to always having a human on you pretty quickly. You’re constantly holding your newborn, whether it’s breastfeeding, sleeping on you, etc., all in the name of nurture. So by the time you get Baby down in the evening, the last thing you may want is someone else hovering over your space. For women who don’t necessarily love physical contact to start, this can be especially overstimulating.
You’re tired and experiencing mental overload.
It’s no secret that new parents hardly get any sleep in the first three months of bringing their baby home. Your wheels are constantly spinning about decisions. You’re not sleeping well. Your body is recovering from birth – it’s universal for women to feel exhausted both physically and emotionally after having a baby. Which doesn’t leave much space for orgasms.
Your hormones are off.
Finally, your hormones are all over the place. All of your cells are wired for you to keep the baby and yourself alive. So having a sex drive isn’t even biologically a thing especially as your body and brain prioritize critical needs. As a result, you may be feeling a lack of connection with your partner and/or a general unhappiness with your body, and that’s totally the hormones’ fault. But it’s also your problem to solve.
We’re sure there are more reasons you can add to the list, but you get the general sense of the issue at hand.
You Should Prioritize Sex Anyways
Hear us out! Having orgasms is an important way to get back on the road of health. It’s the same type of deal as eating your veggies: even if you don’t want to do it, it’s good for your body.
With that being said, let’s clarify what we mean. We think of sex as intercourse. You know, one thing going into another. But the truth is, most women don’t orgasm during intercourse, so we have to widen the lens of this conversation. Don’t just have intercourse in the name of health, make sure you’re finishing the job to get the full results.
Some interesting things to note:
- More than half (60%) of women can’t have an orgasm without clitoral stimulation.
For the most part, if you’re not bringing the clitoris into the mix, you’re not getting the job done. So in the “coming months” of postpartum, make sure you and your partner are focusing on every body part to reach maximum orgasm potential.
- It takes a woman, on average, 14 minutes to reach orgasm.
That might sound quick, but we’re not talking about finishing up the dishes and 14 minutes later, you’ve reached orgasm. We mean once a woman is in the space of pleasurable contact, it takes 14 minutes of that to reach orgasm. It’s honestly a longer amount of time than you’d think. So that’s to say, carve out enough time for you and your partner. Make sure you’re focusing on each other and in a space of ease long enough to let your body reach climax.
- Orgasming releases positive hormones.
Remember those pesky hormones we mentioned earlier? Orgasms combat those ickier feelings with positive hormone releases such as oxytocin, which reduces stress and cortisol levels. Orgasms are also proven to help you sleep better and provide a stronger connection to your partner. Less stress, better sleep, and more love? Seems like a winning combo to us.
Let’s Workshop This
If you’re experiencing a new or different pain in bed, we can help. If your sex life just isn’t what you want it to be, we can help. At the end of the day, Moment of Truth Physical Therapy wants women to feel healthy and whole. And “whole” includes taking back your sexuality, sensuality, and physicality. We’ll go over all of this, and more, in our latest workshop – Sex 2.0. Our workshop hasn’t released yet, but if you’re interested in learning more, email us at email@example.com.
If your sex life just hasn’t felt the same since giving birth, pop in for an appointment with us. We can’t wait to get you back to feeling like yourself.