Finally, we’re bringing you very public answers to some of your most private questions. When sexual and vaginal health concerns arise, OB/GYN and nationally known women’s health expert Dr. Jessica Shepherd wants to ensure you have the answers you need to feel at ease. As the founder of Her Viewpoint, an online women’s health forum, she uses this outlet to focus on addressing taboo topics in a comfortable setting. Prepare to take notes!
Q: How Does The Vagina Change Post-Partum?
A: Every woman’s body is different. It changes before, during and after pregnancy. One symptom women do have after childbirth is having a different arousal reaction than what they would have had before pregnancy. Some women might experience vaginal dryness because of post-partum or post-menopausal issues because of the decreasing estrogen.
What you’ll find usually with post-partum is there is a change in the estrogen levels. The hormone levels are trying to get back to “normal.” It takes about a good 12 weeks to get back to what we call outside of that post-partum phase and allows you to be what you were pre-pregnancy. During that time frame you might see a change in how your vagina’s lubricated and also that there’s the anxiety as well of having sex after having a delivery.
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Sex really is, there’s a mental portion of that that allows making sure that you’re in-tune with the sexual experience. If you’re not mentally checked into having sex with your partner because you’re a little anxious and there’s a new baby around, sometimes that can affect how well you lubricate. I usually advocate for women who are post-partum, for the first few sexual encounters that they have post-partum, to use lubricant. Even if they never had a issue before with lubrication.
Lubricants can be water-based but there are some that are silicone-based and that can be a great tool to help decrease your anxiety and increase your arousal.
Have a question for Dr. Shepherd? Email us now.