Post-partum vaginal dryness–almost universally experienced, almost never discussed.
Many women incorrectly attribute vaginal dryness, and the accompanying painful sex to a lack of desire for sex, or a lack of desire for their partner. For some women (especially first time moms), this begins a downward spiral that is easily coupled with lack of sleep, fragile self-esteem as a mom, and a change in self-perception (who am I now that I’m also someone’s mom?) where a sexual relationship with their partner becomes harder and harder to recover.
I’m here to prevent that from happening.
First of all, you’re as attracted to your partner as you ever were. Possibly more, if you’re feeling sentimental about creating new life with them. New, exhausting life that has you sleep deprived (also a libido killer), possibly suffering from Post Partum Depression (also a libido killer), and suffering from the kind of estrogen drop you won’t experience again until menopause. That’s right, an estrogen drop.
Estrogen is the number one hormone responsible for vaginal lubrication.
You are not experiencing vaginal dryness because of lack of desire for sex or for your partner…you are experiencing it because your body is producing very little estrogen.
Repeat this as often as you need to hear it.
How long will it last?
Vaginal dryness lasts anywhere from 3-12 months post-partum. It can depend on a variety of factors…breastfeeding tends to prolong it, for example. It is one of the tools evolution has come up with to prevent you from getting pregnant again too quickly (evolution has not caught up with modern day birth control methods…sorry).
What can I do about it?
Your best bet is to purchase water-based lubricant (available almost universally at grocery stores and pharmacies/drug stores, not just “adult” stores) and use it prior to sexual contact with your partner. If it is interfering with your pleasure during masturbation, try lube then as well.
A quick note–avoid silicon-based lubees as they can break down latex in condoms and sex toys.
Hopefully knowing that your lack of lubrication is not your fault, your partner’s fault, or unnatural in any way will help you on your journey back to sexuality post-partum.