Updated: Nov 24, 2020
There are a few things to consider when intercourse is painful especially after giving birth. During the postpartum phase, low libido and vaginal dryness are common symptoms especially among nursing mothers. Using a natural lubricant, like coconut oil can decrease discomfort associated with dryness. Moving a little slower and including more foreplay can help with low libido. It is important to have open dialogue with your partner about what you need to have a better intimate experience.
If you are experiencing persistent pain with intercourse, you should seek help from a professional. Investing in yourself will offer you accurate information and peace of mind. Pain after birth can be caused by multiple things including caesarean scars, vaginal tears, uterine position, or tense pelvic floor muscles. A wait and see approach to painful intercourse is not recommended as it takes very little time for you brain to develop a feedback loop associating fear with intercourse. At Statera, we offer women's wellness visits that include a full pelvic exam with treatment to eliminate pain with intercourse.
Weakness in the pelvic floor muscles can also impact sexual satisfaction. An inability to orgasm can be a sign of pelvic floor muscle weakness or dysfunction. It is important to have your muscles evaluated by a pelvic floor specialists to determine the best course of treatment.
Finally, I will add, that intimacy with your partner does not always have to include penetration. Maintaining daily closeness with your partner can help immensely in maintaining a deep connection. Try some of these things: make eye contact often, hug until you feel the "drop", say "good morning" and "good night", check in with each other during the day, and finally try to find some alone time at least once a week even if the baby is sleeping in the other room. We are programmed to think that "date night" means leaving the house, but it certainly can be snuggling on the couch with some popcorn and a good movie.
~Leslie Kremer, DPT, LLC
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