Intimacy is painful since having my daughter.

Dawn - posted on 01/03/2012 ( 40 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have found it physically impossible to be intimate after having my daughter. I am breastfeeding and the doctor said it is probably due to hormones. She is 9 months old now and we are still having issues. I never went through this with my first. Has anyone else dealt with this?

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Tina - posted on 01/28/2012

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I have spoken to a few DRs regarding pain during intimacy with my husband. My husband and I have always had some difficulty with this. Suggestions given to me was: go slow, gentle and often. The more often you do it, the more your "lady business" gets used to the feel of it again.

Bernadette - posted on 01/15/2012

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Hi Dawn. I went through the exact same problem and it's one of the things nobody warns you about so when it happens, you feel like there's something wrong with you. Since you've been checked out, your doctor is probably right that there's nothing wrong.



It took 6 months for me and my partner to talk about the issue and thank goodness we finally did. The main thing is to stop feeling like it's your fault or there's something wrong with you.



The best thing I could've done was do a Google search about it which educated me and took the pressure off. I now knew there was light at the end of the painful tunnel. I then asked my partner to read what I had found and that's what changed everything. Instead of us both just getting more and more frustrated at a situation that was starting to look permanent, we both relaxed and realised we had to go back to taking things slow and really focusing on the foreplay. There was a lot of experimenting, failure and success...we felt like teenagers again! We did this for about a month before even attempting intercourse again. And I won't lie, I was pretty tense when the moment came but to both our surprise, the intense pain was gone and once I relaxed it was great. The only thing I did find was that things I enjoyed before just felt like we were going through the motions. So again, you may need to work out with your partner what positions work for you now as it may have changed.



The most important thing you can do right now is keep talking to your partner about what does and doesn't feel good for you at the moment - communication is going to become your best friend. If he wants to ever have intercourse with you again, your partner is going to need to put in a massive effort over the next few weeks or maybe even months. Sometimes men forget that sex isn't just an in and out job, woman need extra attention and a more gentle touch especially after giving birth! It's not going to happen overnight, but if you both stay patient and persistent, you will enjoy intimacy again.



Maybe just go back to the basics of touching each other and re-exploring each others bodies. Since you're breastfeeding, your breasts are probably now out of bounds. Although apparently some men enjoy the milk but personally we found the idea revolting and I no longer felt anything sexually when they were touched, they had become feeding machines and nothing else...plus my breasts had finally settled into his feeding routine so I wasn't about to go back to leaking everywhere!



Then move onto oral sex and when YOU (and only you) are ready, your partner can start to attempt penetration. Start with just a finger, then 2 and so on. Eventually, you will be ready and and relaxed enough for full intercourse. I can guarantee that your relationship (both sexually and emotionally) is going to be so much stronger after going through this process.



Hope that helps and GOOD LUCK!!



http://ask.metafilter.com/74330/Painfree...



http://www.steadyhealth.com/Painful_inte...



http://www.babycenter.com.au/baby/youaft...

Nic - posted on 01/07/2012

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After my daughter was born it was excruciatingly painful to have sex. It took 8 months before it got better. After my son was born it wasn't as bad as my daughter, but still painful. The doctor said that breastfeeding leads to low estrogen levels and the walls of the vagina get very thin. This is hormonal and symptoms are similar to what is experienced during menopause. Low estrogen causes the vagina to be dry, sometimes itchy and painful to have sex. The doctor recommended 'astroguide' lubricant during sex which definitely helps. He also said you can get an estrogen cream which can help to thicken the walls of the vagina and ease the pain. I feel for you Dawn. You've made it 9 months and your baby will most likely be eating solids as well as breast milk so Im guessing your hormonal balance and pain has to get better soon. Hang in there.

[deleted account]

I would call a La Leche League Leader in your area and see if they have any recommendations for other resources. I also would call the doctor back or find a second opinion, if lubricant is not helping, what else could be going on besides hormones at play? Could it be scar tissue? I think a second opinion is always valuable, or at least a more extensive and insistent attitude with your first health care provider. You have a right for your doctor to listen to you and I am sure would want to know that what they said is not working....Your local La Leche League Leader should also have a number of helpful tips for how to communicate with your health care professional..
I am so sorry this is happening to you, it sounds really difficult, and I hope things improve for you soon!

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Daniela - posted on 02/08/2012

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this happened to me after i had my daughter, although i wasnt fully nursing. after a while it felt like that "wall" went away. my husband said everything felt completely different in there lol. this may sound weird, but try having a few drinks first to relax you lol

Jénean - posted on 02/07/2012

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I nursed,and have before and never have had this issue until now ..I have a 5 month old ..I hope it changes soon this is strange

Sara - posted on 01/22/2012

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My doctor told me that while you're breastfeeding it makes the vaginal wall thin, so when having intercourse, to use lubricated condoms, or to use lubrication if you don't use condoms because your body doesn't produce as much "natural" lube as when you don't breastfeed. Hope this helps :)

Julie - posted on 01/22/2012

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I had a c-section with both of mine and found starting sex again to be very painful. We just had to muscle through it, lots of lube and alcohol helps. For me it was hormones from pitosin after delivery to breastfeeding to just recovering and not having sex for six weeks. After a while I didn't notice it anymore.

Tanya - posted on 01/22/2012

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We had this problem with our first for about 7 months. Even then we had to start slow, using lots of lubricant and starting with only finger insertion for a while since it hurt so much. Then we built our way up slowly and painfully with the expectation that I could call stop any time. Good luck!

Tanya - posted on 01/22/2012

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We had this problem with our first for about 7 months. Even then we had to start slow, using lots of lubricant and starting with only finger insertion for a while since it hurt so much. Then we built our way up slowly and painfully with the expectation that I could call stop any time. Good luck!

Kristin - posted on 01/21/2012

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I haven't read through all the responses so maybe you already got some good answers. I'm sure there are many reasons depending on what type of birth. I know from experience due to nursing I had a very low sex drive...mostly I was just indifferent and there seemed to be little to no lubrication. I would suggest using a ky or something. My sex drive and everything else returned to normal when I stopped around 9.5 months. However, I did have a c-section so there weren't really any other issues I would/could have surrounding it except for a great deal of tiredness from our little monster!

Sara - posted on 01/20/2012

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It took my a good 12 months to even think about being intimate. i suppose it depends on your baby and size and what you have been through. It will come back just be patient

April - posted on 01/18/2012

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After my son was born I had terrible pain during intercourse for about 6 months. After that it took another 6 months before it was enjoyable again. Lubricant didn't help. My Dr. said everything was fine. I didn't know what to think, but after a while the pain started to fade. I think it would have faded quicker if I hadn't been afraid of the pain and tensing up, but it did go away. Also, I didn't have this problem when my daughter was born, so I don't think it's too weird that you have problems with your 2nd but not your 1st.

Kelly - posted on 01/17/2012

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I talked to my OB about the same thing. I am also exclusively breastfeeding and didn't have a period for a while, which was really nice, which also meant that hormones were'nt returning back to normal so I had no desire and when we were intimate we had to use a lubricant or it really hurt. It is natural, and it is your body's way of saying I'm not ready to become pregnant again. Try a lubricant and it should help.

Natasha - posted on 01/16/2012

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I dealt with the same thing!! My gyno tried giving me a cream, telling me it was hormones, etc. That was not the problem!!! Eventually they referred me to a physical therapist. I was totally better within a couple months!! It may sound a bit weird, but it's not at all. Turns out I needed to just work on strengthening my pelvic floor muscles. Tightening them and then really focus on relaxing them. If you're having issues you need to be persistent until it gets resolved. Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 01/16/2012

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I'm a FTM with a 4 month old son, and it is still pretty painful for me, too. I know what you mean by having some sort of "barrier". I think it is scar tissue and I am worried it will never heal. I do have the urge and once we get past the initial pain and discomfort, I can relax. Hopefully my OB will have something more to tell me than "more lube"! We've already been through a few bottles to help with the pain!! I hope you can find someone who will listen- trust me, you're not alone!

Aileen - posted on 01/15/2012

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My friend had the same issue after her daughter and she was over a year old. Her doctor was not helpful and just said she probably had a UTI. Well she knew something else was going on so she found a physiotherapist that specialized in the pelvic floor. After some therapy my friend is doing so much better and no longer having sexual pain. She now recommends this to women who have had babies and are having issues (painful intercourse & incontinence etc).

I hope you get the proper care you need and don't stop searching until someone really hears you.

Cadie - posted on 01/10/2012

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You might need to try and estrogen cream. It may affect your milk supply for a week or two, but you can use supplements to increase your milk. I have atrophy due to lack of estrogen because I'm still BF. Talk to your doctor and LC. Good luck.

Amanda - posted on 01/09/2012

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I had this problem after my first. The pain did not stop until after I had my second. I think it had something to do with the stitches that I had after my first was born. I know of a few women who have had similar problems. Go and see another doctor if you are not happy with or not getting support from your doctor. Preferably a female doctor.

Ashleigh - posted on 01/09/2012

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OMG! ive been wondering about this forever! i thought it was just me! so glad im not alone. My daughter is almost 3 and i still despise having sex:( it HURTS! its like hes stabbing my overies, i cant figure out what the hell it is, i have no insurance, or i'd probably would of had a xray already.

Sally - posted on 01/09/2012

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Nursing hormones can make you very dry and take away your urges (Nature doesn't want you having another baby while this one still needs you.), but if lube isn't helping nursing is not the problem.
Did you have an episiotomy or tear? Those don't heal as fast as the doctors tell you they will and if the doctor didn't sew it right or some of the stitches blew and you didn't realize it you might not be the same shape or size down there any more. My episiotomy took almost a year to stop hurting. A sneeze at the wrong time is all it takes to pop a stitch and if it's the internal ones, you may not notice until its healed wrong.
Ask the doctor to check you without the speculum. It does no good to look for obstructions with a tool that will push them out of the way before you start. If the doctor blows you off, get a new doctor.
Good luck

Lydia - posted on 01/08/2012

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if you had a tear or a traumatic birth it could cause something called vaginismus. basically it means your muscles work against the sex and that's painful and the problem is that once you had that painful experience the next time you try to have sex you are even more tense because you fear it to be painful again. The good part is it could be a simple thing like a certain position of your leg or some relaxation techniques you learn to get you back to enjoying sex again. I did have a lot pain after my daughter was born and found it sometimes impossible to have sex, but I learned that if I moved my leg in a certain position everything relaxed and it became less painful. Now we are back to full enjoyment and I even don't think of it anymore. Also in the beginning it helped if I took a hot shower before sex. it relaxes the muscles too. there are some websites out there which describe the symptoms and relaxing techniques of vaginismus.

Sophie - posted on 01/07/2012

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I had some pain after my first child (c-section) that lasted about 6 months. I am now having worse pain with my second child and am in physiotherapy for it. I have to say it is pretty humiliating but a necessary evil to fix the problems with my ligaments and pelvic muscles. I also have some pain because of a prolapsed urethra and bladder, which will also improve with the physiotherapy. My husband is also getting frustrated, but in all honesty if he cant stick it out with me and be understanding that sex is painful and the lack of a sex life is not by choice then he can get out. I'm the one who went through the birth, I'm the one who's in pain and I'm the one going through the humiliating treatments to fix it at great expense (80$ and hour). No one should be made to feel poorly because of a physical condition entirely out of their control.

Megan - posted on 01/07/2012

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My son is 7 months old and this is exactly what we were going through. It was getting worse to the point where my husband and I just gave up. I went to the doc and she gave me some topical hormonal cream. I didn't want to use it, was kind of nervous about it, but I just used half the recommended amount and the pain is gone in one week. That is a very personal decision and not an easy one- I do not like the idea of the hormones, but it should be for a short time period and it is important to the health of my marriage, which is very important! Just something to think about. I cried after we had normal love again because I did not realize how much it had been affecting me and how sad I had been about it.... Just my two cents.

[deleted account]

My scar/scartissue was fixed when my daughter was around 7 months old. Before that it was absolutely impossible to have sex, it was incredibly painful and felt just like you are describing. Don't let your doctor blow you off, insist on getting this seen to as soon as possible. Apparently, if you keep having sex it will eventually get better on its own accord, but there was no way I was able to bear even the thought of that. Good luck!!!

[deleted account]

i know it was painful for me. i was told to wait 6 weeks, which we did, but it was extremely painful when we did get intimate. probably somewhere around 6 months it started getting better... now after 8 months we are fine. I had a water birth.... I'm pretty sure that's what the cause is... look how big your baby was when she came out (if you had a natural birth?) it's got to do something negative to your body! i am breastfeeding too: not sure how that could relate though??

Esther - posted on 01/06/2012

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I had the same thing too. It was after my first, I tore quite badly and nothing really felt the same down there. The doctor thought I had an infection but I didn't - they sent me for an ultrasound and that hurt like hell too so it wasn't just sex. They really had no ideas except lubricant. It was probably a year before we could have any semblance of a sex life and even then it was very scarce as it still hurt! BUT, when I stopped nursing my son (at 18months) it was like "hello hubby, where have you been all my life!" He got EXTREMELY frustrated and irritable and it affected EVERY aspect of our relationship but as soon as we got it back, I got pregnant with my second and was terrified the same thing would happen again, but I was wrong. I didn't tear that time and even though I was nursing for 20 months, we had no problems (outside of absolute physical exhaustion from looking after two kids of course!). Now I'm pregnant with my third and hopeful everything will work out fine again. Have faith, it will pass!

Wendy - posted on 01/06/2012

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I have been experiencing the exact same thing. My little guy is now 6 months old and I had a c-section and had my tubes tied at the same time and after 3 visits to 3 different doctors, they are telling me it is hormonal as I am nursing as well. We have tried several different lubricants with no help :( The Doctors say it will eventually go away....very frustrating!!!!

Lori - posted on 01/06/2012

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I've experienced some of what you're describing too. Not quite as bad though. With my first it took a full year before I could have intercourse without pain even with lube. I did tear and did have to have stitches, and I am pretty sure that's what was causing the discomfort. After that it slowly started to get better, though my husband was still complaining about the frequency (or lack of frequency) when I got pregnant with my 2nd. This time around I tore again, and had stitches again. My LO is now 13 months and it's only very very recently I'm even slightly feeling in the mood.

Holly does make a good point though. Husbands need love too. It can just be so hard sometimes. I know I get "touched out" quite frequently. But while I'm at home with the kids playing and hugging and nursing all day, he's at work and getting no love. So I try to be there for him too. It helps when we have someone watch the girls for us - even for an hour or two and we get some alone time. Then I feel like I can reconnect with him again.

But - if relaxing, and lube don't help any, or enough - go back to the Dr and insist that you need more help. Hormones do play a huge role in this, but that doesn't mean you're not experiencing something more.

Holly Janelle - posted on 01/06/2012

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Not trying to give TMI but being intimate is pretty important to our men of course and since you are feeling that pain I would try other ways to pleasure each other than just "sexual intercourse" such as oral sex (a must at this point!)...he won't turn that down for sure and even if you aren't in the "mood" for you, at least he will be satisfied and won't be frustrated. You've got to give him something or it's going to make for a very angry sexually deprived hubby. Don't feel guilty but from now on show him attention and find time for him. Men need to know you still find them sexy, important and wanted, if not it will push him away.



And you need to make a doctor appointment and stress how important this is not only to you but for the health of your marriage! Your OBGYN/GYNO has to help and figure this out thats what they specialized in hello!! I can't imagine how you feel. I'm sure your so frustrated and upset I'm so sorry. But don't take "just try some lube" as an answer. I wish you the best of luck and hope I helped a little.

Mindee - posted on 01/05/2012

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After my first baby I felt the same way you do. It took almost until my second was born (almost two years later) to feel like myself again and be intimate w/out pain. Expecting the pain and tensing up definitely made it worse, and when I found a way to get in my head and just relax it wasn't so bad. I don't think you need surgery, but I'm no doc. =)

[deleted account]

Don't worry, it can be fixed quickly if you find a ob/gyn who is willing to operate to remove the scar tissue and repair the wound...it will be eaiser if you have private health cover, as unfortunately, whilst doctors will 'bend over backwards' when it's a matter with male sexual problems, few are willing to bother about those involving female...but there is hope, and no you don't have to wait til the magical 'nerve endings lose their sensitivity' (it doesn't happen) without surgical intervention. God bless.

Dawn - posted on 01/04/2012

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I did tear at delivery. It all happened too fast for an episiotomy. I haven't hears of the side effect of nerve damage. Definitely something to bring up with my doc. It is encouraging to know I am not the only one that is or has dealt with this. It is rather discouraging to hear how long I can be dealing with it though! Meanwhile, my hubby and I are trying to focus on making time for each other and keeping up some intimacy. Its really hard on him though and I feel guilty.

Stephanie - posted on 01/04/2012

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I think I understand what you are going through. Here is what I suggest you do. First, take some time to work on your relationship with your husband. You are both probably getting very stressed with the kids, with each other, with this whole situation. The less stressed you become the less tense you will be when "the deed" is done. (And you will enjoy it more.) Second, make an appointment with your doc(or a new doc) to see if there is something that can be done to help ease the discomfort. If there is nothing medically diagnosable then there should be something you can do to help your muscles to relax. Giving birth to a wonderful baby is a traumatic experience. Your skin stretches to and sometimes past the breaking point and needs time to recover. It was nearly a year before I didn't have any discomfort. So, just be patient and work on other areas of yours and your husbands intimate relationship. You both will benefit from a closer relationship.

Courtney - posted on 01/04/2012

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Hi! I had this problem due to the fact that I tore really badly at both of my deliveries. My kids are 3 and 1 now and I still have problems once in a while. If you got stitches some time the way they sew you back up can leave nerves exposed which makes you feel like you have sandpaper rubbing against you instead. It takes time but eventually (I have been assured) the nerves will either sink or desensitize.....but it does take quite a bit of time.

[deleted account]

I wonder, did you have an episiotomy and get stitches? If you did it could be that there has been a lot of scar tissue overgrowth, or perhaps the wound hasn't even healed properly. Have your doctor or ob/gyn, check, if you use tampons and have found them hard to insert that is another indicator.
This can be repaired relatively easily, but in the meantime you could try using KY Jelly or similar, applying it during foreplay.

Dawn - posted on 01/03/2012

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thank you all for your encouragement. It feels almost as if I won't open up inside. Like it is closed up. Trying to push past it is impossible. The pain is worse than delivery! I could understand right after having her but she is 9 months now and we still can't manage! To make it worse, since I am expecting pain I think I am tensing up which of course doesn't help matters. Perhaps I should make another appt with my doc. At the last visit she did an internal exam (with a speculum) and said everything looked ok. I hadn't heard of this problem before and I am feeling a little alone in the world. I think my husband might start thinking I'm making it all up to get out of doing the deed. Frustrated!

CJ - posted on 01/03/2012

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Does it feel like he's hitting something? And it really hurts?
I've been having this since my daughter was born (she's almost 3 now), it doesn't happen all the time, and lately has been happening even less. It happened this last week for the first time in 3 months. When I went in to see if something was wrong, (I made an appointment at planned parenthood) the doctor pretty much blew it off as nothing. Saying that sometimes the position or something is just off and it happens. I wasn't too comforted by this answer, but I can't afford to go get a second opinion somewhere else, so I didn't have much choice but to just take her at her word. I'd say if you can, get a second opinion, or at least bring it up with your doctor. Maybe if they know it's still going on they'll have a different answer for you.

Dawn - posted on 01/03/2012

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Paulette, thanks for the reply. Its not just that there is no urge (though I have none) it is extremely painful! Its like there is a wall there. My doctor suggested lubricant. Not helpful in the least.

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