Know that old song, “Where Did Our Love Go?” Many couples after childbirth ask, “Where did our sex go?” Loss of desire is common among women after childbirth. Desire problems peak between ages 30 and 40.
The causes of lost sex drive are complex. You can have a good marriage and still suffer from a lack of sexual desire. So, for all the talk about the importance of good communication for a healthy relationship, it is also important to apply this communication to the bedroom; and then do something about it.
At midlife, many women are deep into a marriage, a job, raising kids. Any of these can push up stress, and stress puts your sex drive in park. Avoiding sex can, in turn, cause tension with your partner. Low desire is more common after a small gap between kids, particularly when kids are young. Because all this happens at once, it may seem like menopause is the cause, but there are many factors.
Take the focus off intercourse. Spend more time on foreplay and try other kinds of sex play, such as massage and different sexual positions. Talk to each other about the touches you like or dislike. Make sure the kids sleep in a separate room. Seek out short-term couples counselling when your sex life hits a rough patch.
The hormonal changes following pregnancy can lead to changes in a woman’s sexual drive and functioning. Women may notice that they are not as easily aroused, and may be less sensitive to touching and stroking, which can result in decreased interest in sex.
In addition, these changes can cause a decrease in blood supply to the vagina. This decreased blood flow can affect vaginal lubrication, causing the vagina to be too dry for comfortable intercourse. You could:
Lubricate. Thinning vaginal tissue causes painful sex and can lead to urinary tract infections. Both can make you avoid sex. Use products like water based jelly. Shy about buying? Order them online.
Try hormones. Your doctor can prescribe estrogen cream to apply in your vagina. This thickens the tissue and helps make sex feel better.
Rethink sex. You may need a mental makeover. Tweaking your approach to sex can make a big difference if you:
Put your pleasure first. If you focus on yourself during sex, you can set the right tempo for you.
Make time for each other. Your instinct may be to avoid romance when you don’t feel in the mood. Yet date nights and mini-trips can say “this is key to me” and help reset desire.
Bring back foreplay. The clitoris takes longer to respond after motherhood. Give ample time to cuddle, kiss, or stroke. Just fool around, without climax as the goal.
Stroke sex organ No. 1, your brain. New things turn us on. Try changing places, positions, toys, and roles.
If shapeless body after pregnancy, dark circles, sore muscles, and dry skin make you see yourself as “old,” you’re less apt to see yourself as “hot.”
Women may also blame tiredness for a low sex drive when other health problems are the real cause. Common culprits: Bladder problems, underactive thyroid, and iron-deficiency anemia.
Get a medical checkup to make sure there’s nothing else going on. As for self-esteem, don’t believe that only a Deepika Padukone can be sexy. Treat your body well, making time for self-care and time for sex.
-Dr. Paras Shah, Chief Sexologist, Gujarat Research & Medical Institute and Director, Sannidhya Institute & Research Center for Sex, Sexuality and Health.
Things that happen out of your bed can affect what goes on in it, so you should:
Talk. Make sure your partner gets that your chill isn’t due to how you feel about him, if it’s not. He might be confused and feel rejected. Discuss how to make sex better. Talk about what helps, what you like.
Look in your mirror. Maybe it’s your self-image that needs a boost. Lose weight if you need to, or take a fitness or yoga class. Steps like these can help you see the great things about your body. Feeling sexy is rooted in feeling good.
Reach out. Are you bummed by a new empty nest or feeling “old”? Are you and your partner stuck? Talking to a sexologist can shed light on how to power forward.
Sex stirs the craving for more sex. Lovemaking elevates the brain chemicals associated with desire. So as we decide to have sex and find we enjoy our time of lovemaking, our libidos increase, often leading to an increased yearning to have sex more often. What could be more fun and exciting than that?