When will breastfeeding stop interfering with my sex life? #I've got a parenting question!#breastfeeding#grown ups#sex February 21 2012 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Offbeat Home & Life runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter. By: Bosc d'Anjou – CC BY 2.0 I have always enjoyed a really great sex life with my husband — pretty much right up until the birth of our daughter in August. After she was born, it took a while to get back into the swing of things. The problem now is that it hurts every time we try to have sex. I talked to my midwife about it and she said that it is going to hurt more than normal because I'm breastfeeding. I do have an IUD but she assured me that it wasn't the problem and once I stop breastfeeding, it will go back to "normal." My daughter is almost six months old and it hasn't gotten any better. I don't want to avoid sex with my husband or prematurely stop breastfeeding her for my own comfort (especially since I went through a hell of a lot to keep breastfeeding her). My husband has been great about it and doesn't mind if we go weeks without sex because there are other ways of being intimate, but I miss it. Has anyone else had this problem while breastfeeding? Does it really go away, and how long did it take it for you to be "normal" again? — theladybug. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Confessions of a kitchen gadget addict NEXT Renting: Adventures in Lighting Show/Hide comments [ 69 ] I too have been wondering this same thing. It hurts! Glad to know that it's the breastfeeding and nothing is wrong. Interested to see what the comments will be. I could use some relief! 1 agrees Reply My dr warned me of this. It is painful due to hormones associated with breast feeding. It is completely normal but no one tells us because they want us to nurse. 1 agrees Reply Oh gosh this is my life. I had no idea it was "normal" I thought I was just lurching from one horrific infection to another. You've put my mind at ease! Pain, pain go away. My son is a year old and I'm still having trouble 🙁 Sorry, no advice 2 agree Reply When you say it hurts, what do you mean? Dryness can be a problem associated with breastfeeding – lube it up! I've breastfed two babies (not tandem!) for a total of 3 years & have experienced dryness but not any other pain. 1 agrees Reply I agree with this… sex actually feels better now than it did before. I thought this article was going to be about how to have sex with a cosleeping breastfed baby (who is VERY aware of when I'm not right next to her in bed!), because that's our challenge. (We're working it out by actually scheduling sex… not the most fun or spontaneous thing, but hey, everything takes a bit more planning these days.) I just wanted to throw this out there, though, in case every pregnant woman reading this is now convinced that sex will hurt while breastfeeding. Everyone is different! 1 agrees Reply Sex also feels better for me! (But we have also had to use some lube because of dryness). Except for dryness, I can't imagine why breastfeeding would make your crotch hurt? That seems like crazy medical advice from your midwife… wait until you stop breastfeeding for it to go back to "normal"?!? That could take years! Lube. Lube. I, too, thought this would be about sex while co-sleeping. My husband and I have occasional afternoon sex to combat this. 1 agrees Reply I, too, thought this would be about sex while co-sleeping. My husband and I also schedule sex. We keep things interesting though by changing other things up like location. 1 agrees Reply My husband and I had the same troubles and it just took time, patience and more creative positions… you'll find what works. 3 agree Reply I don't remember when exactly but I think I started feeling more comfortable in sex when my son was about 9 months old, about 6 months after I stopped breastfeeding him. Sadly we weren't able to breastfeed longer than the first 3 months, but c'e la vie, yes? I hope the pain doesn't go away solely when you stop breastfeeding – sending good and painless thoughts your way, doll. Reply I remember it being painful for me for at least the first few months. But even while I was breastfeeding my kiddo the pain went away probably around 6 months or so. Reply Painful intercourse after childbirth could be a whole lot of things, so I would get a thorough gynecological exam. My midwife told me the same thing, and she was referring to the fact that your body might not produce the same lubrication while breastfeeding and it can cause sex to feel painful. Lube can be a lifesaver. That wasn't my issue so she referred me back to my gynecologist, who can use a colposcope or ultrasound to look for muscle or ligament damage or lesions. Mine turned out to be a pulled pelvic ligament and I was prescribed physical therapy and the pain went away after a few months. I still breastfeed at 14 months and it hasn't negatively affected my sex life, so keep on keeping' on honey! 2 agree Reply this 100%. If lube and a glass or two of wine dont help get thee to a mw/ob there is something else going on. And there are a few things that are not uncommon post partum that no one talks about. Breastfeeding can change your hormone balance which is why the dryness. Hormones can be a bitch even when you aren't nursing. And these issues tend to disappear when you get your period back at the latest. 1 agrees Reply First, I wanted to say that what you are going through is normal. And it may not take waiting until you are not breastfeeding for it to go back to normal – a bit of hope! 😉 Sex was painful for me for about a year and has been normal since, pain wise, sadly it seems the sex life of a mommy never goes back to the way it was until way later I think. My daughter is 2 and still nursing frequently and sex isn't painful. You just have to wait it out and it sounds like your hubby is great. Also, I wanted to tell you that you are lucky to still want sex and that you actually miss it. I'm STILL waiting for my sex drive to come back like it used to be…not sure how long I'll be waiting on that. :/ anyway – good luck, just hang in there and keep nursing that baby! 😉 9 agree Reply I'm wondering exactly what/where the pain you're dealing with is. I've had more pain 'down there' & thought it was due to my scar from the tearing/episiotomy. My OB/GYN seemed to think so too & prescribed a steroid cream for me to use. My estrogen levels stayed low as well (even long after I stopped breast feeding) and she gave me another cream for that. The creams seemed to help, but things still aren't what they used to be & my daughter's over 2yrs old now & we stopped breastfeeding around her 1st b-day. I don't want to scare you, I'm still able to enjoy myself with him, but there're still issues sometimes… and my desire is significantly reduced. I attributed that to my antidepressant, but I was on it before & during my pregnancy & didn't have that issue. I, too, would love some answers. Especially as we're trying for number two now! 1 agrees Reply I think you may have gotten bad advice from your midwife. Other than the dryness others mentioned, there's no biological reason that sex should hurt because you are breastfeeding. I breastfed my daughter for a year and had no pain with intercourse. However, she was born via c-section, so my lady parts didn't undergo the changes that can accompany a vaginal delivery. I would seek a second opinion. There are anatomical things that might be going on if you had a vaginal delivery- scar tissue formed by a healing tear, etc. Or something unrelated to the birth- an infection or other cause. Breastfeeding shouldn't mean painful intercourse. Do your best to be an advocate for yourself (and your marriage) and seek out other opinions. Wishing you a speedy return to previous really great sex life! 20 agree Reply I'd like to second this, especially the part about it possibly being unrelated to the birth. It makes sense that it would be, but a full exam might rule out anything else; especially a something else that should not wait until you ween your little one. And I say this not to be alarmist at ALL, just someone who's gone in to the regular doctor AND the lady doctor with one complaint that turned out to be related to something else I'd never thought of. Bodies are weird, crazy and wonderful things…. 2 agree Reply Unless your pain is related to dryness, I third this: there is no biological reason for pain during intercourse that's related to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding just doesn't cause pain typically. It may cause dryness, for which yes, lube! But just causing pain? No. I'd definitely investigate this more and get a second opinion. 2 agree Reply My doctor told me to expect it to hurt because of hormones, and that some women even try an estrogen cream. Indeed it did hurt very badly with lubrication. It's early for me so I will keep trying. Just remember your experience may have been a lucky one. Lots of women go through this. 3 agree Reply My daughter is now 16 months (we stopped nursing at 4 months) and sex is still painful for me. I've been to two different OBs about it and neither one could find anything wrong with me. So I don't know if waiting it out works for everyone. Keep pursuing an answer. Reply I'm going through the exact same thing! Lube doesn't always do the trick for me, sometimes it makes it burn!!! BUT, I have found that climaxing BEFORE intercourse does wonders! So, you can either take care of business before hand or let your husband take care of it for you. Then, just start out slow. I feel bad for my husband. He's been such a great sport. He's gone from having to fight me off sometimes to just shy of begging. Some wine after baby has gone to sleep might help you relax a bit too. I found that anticipating the discomfort only made things worse. Good Luck! Reply i am so glad you posted this! i am having the exact same problem. i googled around a bit after reading your post, and found this useful discussion http://www.breastfeeding.com/helpme/helpme_asklc_ans48.html i consequently just called and made a gyno appointment to ask her about it. i never imagined it was linked to breastfeeding! 1 agrees Reply Sex should not be painful – anyone who tells you this is normal is mistaken. If sex IS painful, there's something else going on – a pulled ligament, a tear, etc. The posters telling you to wait it out are right in a sense – given enough time, the body's ability to heal is pretty awesome. But you don't HAVE to wait it out, there are treatment options for most problems. Sadly, our medical system doesn't pay much attention to the postpartum body. So you need to be your own best advocate and make sure you Gyn takes this seriously and thoroughly checks you out. 4 agree Reply I agree with the other posters – if it's dryness, get some lube and get going : ) If its other pain, it's much harder. Honestly, sex was painful for me until I "retore" with my second and insisted that my ob (rather than the very nice intern) stitch me up. After that, no problems. For me it was a very very uncomfortable pressure. Sorry I couldn't be more help, but hopefully it's good to know you're not alone. 2 agree Reply I had a cesarean and had a lot of trouble getting used to intercourse after the birth. My midwives also said it is probably dryness due to breastfeeding. (like others have said) You probably aren't ovulating and don't have the natural lubrication that happens during regular cycles. I have found that it does get better over time especially if we try and do it more often! Personally, I find lubricants very irritating, so it's been a challenge. It will get better, don't give up! Reply My baby is 7 months old and I haven't had successful sex in about a year. We've only tried maybe 3 times since she was born. I started to feel pain and chickened out each of those times. We decided that we needed to take time and practice. But our baby will only sleep alone for 30 min bursts, so we don't have the luxury of time. So no sex I guess. We don't even try anymore. Reply Oh my God! I had no idea this was a side effect of breastfeeding! My partner and I have only had sex once since our daughter was born and the pain was almost unbearable. I had a c-section, so I thought it was just the fact that we were using condoms for the first time in about a year. Good to know it's normal! 2 agree Reply I experienced this too. Yes, it really will go away. Once my little one stopped breastfeeding during the day (he weaned himself at about 13 months) it got much better. At 15 months, when he stopped nursing during the night, the pain went away completely (and sex drive was back to normal). He still nurses before bed (he's 22 months old) but since I'm producing very little milk it does not interfere with my sex life. Reply I have 4 kids and after each one I had the typical "dryness" (I found the vaginal fluids were just less slippery) and lower sex drive while breastfeeding. And the one time I got stitches after a birth I had some tenderness there until it was completely healed. The only time I had actual pain during intercourse, was after my third baby who had been born posterier and actually gotten stuck in the birth canal for a few minutes due to a short cord and the cord being wrapped tightly around her neck. I'm not sure if her birth had anything to do with it, but for almost 9 months after her birth, I had pain deep inside (maybe the cervix?) every time we had sex. I'm not sure if it was a ligament or a partial prolapse or what, I did a ton of kegels and avoided positions where my spouse penetrated too deep (I couldn't be on top, doggy style was touch and go) and eventually it just got better. It was a real drag though, I don't even think I realized how much it annoyed me until after my 4th birth when I recovered very quickly and realized just how bad my recovery from my third birth had been. 1 agrees Reply Should have read this before I posted! It's interesting that you had such an experience… I only have one child, and he was posterior. It was a LONG labour. Not having other post-partum experiences to compare it to, I thought the pain connected to intercourse was due to vaginal dryness. Lube didn't help much though, so perhaps it was pulled or torn muscles/ligaments, and the time it took for that pain to dissipate was not related to a reduction in breastfeeding at all. Thanks for your post! Insightful. 2 agree Reply Lube. Lube and more Lube. I have a five month old son and my sex drive is pretty much in the toilet, more from being so busy than anything. But when we do get down to business, it sucked terribly until we brought home a bottle of astro glide. Reply A note on lube: Maybe it's just a grandma story, but I heard that it's preferable to use your saliva (or the one of your partner) if you can. It's more natural and causes less problems on the long run for your boby (Less baterial problems, no problem going back to not using it, etc) I use both and generally prefer saliva! 6 agree Reply We totally subscribe to saliva-as-lube. Artificial lubes always wind up burning after we've been going at it for a bit, but saliva seems to provide just enough lubrication to get things going on their own, and there are never any weird complications because it's totally natural! (Note: We don't have a baby yet, so I can't vouch for how effective this is post-partum). 4 agree Reply We totally subscribe to saliva-as-lube too. However, for me,it wasn't very effective post-partum. Reply Yes to this, but there's also something to be said for lubricants that don't have sugars in them. KY, for example, has glycerin, which makes yeasites happy (and makes for unhappy vaginas). After saliva, coconut oil is nice… just make sure your lube is compatible with your contraception of choice (if applicable)! 1 agrees Reply I could be wrong, of course, but I think the idea that once you start using it, you can't go back, is an old wives' tale– I certainly haven't had any problems. As for the problem of disturbing your normal flora, it is wise, as someone else said, to use an unflavored lube without glycerin in it (this one, for example, link NSFW) if you have problems with yeast infections 2 agree Reply Like many of the mamas have said, this may not be breastfeeding related. Breastfeeding and pregnancy can cause a lack of lubrication even if you are super interested in having sex soooo lube should help. Try experimenting w/ different kinds (oils can be nice and non-stinging if you are not using condoms…oil can degrade condoms). I know my vaginal "shape" changed after birth which made tampons no longer comfortable so maybe changes in position might help. I would check with a health care provider if lube does not help and experiment at home with your partner. Good luck! I nursed my daughter for 2 years and had little issues other than dryness so I don't really think pain is ever "normal". 1 agrees Reply OMG, I've been having problems with tampons, too (they don't hurt, they just won't really stay in place, and it's inconvenient and uncomfortable), and I hadn't even considered it might be because of giving birth! Thank you! Reply I didn't get my groove back until my LO was about 10 months. It was after I had stopped pumping. Before that, adult time with my husband was rare… once a month was frequent for us. I will happen, but it does take time. Your hormones arent where they used to be. Reply I'm confused about what you mean by painful? I used to be a little drier than I was used to but we added lube to our sex life and it's been just fine. Since our baby was about 6 months old things have gotten back to normal. Other than slight dryness that was easily remedied I didn't experience anything that I would call pain. Reply ok: there are a LOT of small important muscles that make up the plevis and can be pressed on durring sex. Those muscles can get injured just like any other muscles in your body. Your pelvic alignment can be changed from birth and from careing for a small infant. You should note if you're having anyother pain, general lower back pain, abdominal pain, pain between the hip bone and the pubis,(front bottom of the pelvis) these would point to hip alignment issues. You could also have trigger points in these muscles ( a spot that is painful to the touch where the muscle has tighten up and is squeezing the nevers that go to it) the trigger point gets touch durring sex. I have some interior muscle tightness on my left side. I hope you find someone who takes this seriously and can help. 1 agrees Reply see previous post for an example of where to find help, they mention some professionals. Although you're situation sounds like common post partum sex issues instead of the condition mention in the post. We should not stand for the painful sex will just get better! Why can't it get better like now! http://offbeatmama.com/2010/12/post-partum-sex Reply I am going thru the same thing with second baby….the issue is lack of estrogen while breastfeeding….my LO is 7 mos old still nursing regularly and sex is unbearable ! Ihad a c section too btw…..with first baby it wasnt so bad cause he didntbreastfeed as much or as long. My gyn prescribed estrogen cream due to vaginal tissue being atrophied….im scared to use it since its linked to cancer….so i have been trying to up my estrogen naturally with soy and also will try vitamin e oil…..lube doesnt help….my vagina is sore and so sensitive it hurts to even wear tight pants…. 3 agree Reply I scanned through the comments and I don't think this was mentioned. When dealing with sex issues that are related to breastfeeding, I've know people who have found relief with estrogen creams. (That's if lube, warm-up time, etc. don't help and you have been checked out for birth-related injury, infection, etc.) You could talk to your midwife or a different midwife/doctor about that if you think it might help. BFing pretty much shot my libido, but it did get better once my kid weaned. (Then I went through IVF and got pregnant again though, haha…) Reply My baby's 14mo, and sex was, at best, uncomfortable for that whole first year. Lube helped some. Positions I used to like, I no longer do; positions I used to avoid are now some of my favorites. And we're bedsharing, which also interferes with our sex life–where we used to have sex almost daily before baby's arrival, getting it once a week now is a huge challenge. And you can gauge how long it's been by how bitchy I am. It's been a bit of a Catch-22. 2 agree Reply As someone else said, lube lube and more lube. I am still breastfeeding my 1 year old (not all day, but 3-4 times per day) and sex is fine. It was really painful for the first few months, but my lady bits just needed some time to heal. I will say I probably did not get back to 'normal' until about 10 months (my new normal involves more lube that it used to), but around 5-6 months we could regularly have sex with ridiculous amounts of lube. I think I was so afraid of my scar stretching that I was really tense! I also have an IUD, but that does not seem to effect anything. Reply Well, I've read all the comments here and have to say that I think it's worth investigating with another healthcare practitioner what might be going on for you. I'm still breastfeeding my 34 month old daughter and do not have the issues with dryness or with pain, or with libido, and for her age, my daughter still nurses a lot! I do remember the first time I had intercourse after my first daughter was born being painful, but it was only the first time…not subsequent times. So, if you have something else going on that lube (and I'm with the mamas who suggested saliva as the best lube in the world) won't fix, you owe it to yourself and your partner to find out what it is. I just want to say that pain from dryness can be really irritating and your tissues would probably feel pretty raw if you've had sex w/o enough lubrication, which might also leave you open to the possibility of infection. However, that kind of pain is different than some, so you really could have something totally different going on. Hope you find a solution, and quickly and get to have fun again! xo 1 agrees Reply Go to a professional, there are so many reasons you may have problems, it can even be vaginismus. 2 agree Reply Yikes! I had no idea this was such an epidemic! I just had baby #4 two weeks ago and I've never had any such issues, and they've all been breastfed for a year (well except the 2 week old, lol). All were natural labors without any tearing or cutting. I will say I'm a naturally "wet" person so dryness is not something I struggle with. I think with #1 we had and used some astroglide. I understand that coconut oil is the best natural lube, for those who wish to try. Bottom line, sex shouldn't hurt. Make sure you're doing kegels so your uterus isn't sagging into your vagina and keep doing research until you've got it figured out. Reply Hi, I have read all the posts and I think all my points have been covered… but just in case… It normally takes 6 to 8 weeks postpartum for you internal organs to get back to their right spot. I can however take longer. If you had stitches after you gave birth, the scar tissue can affect the way the rest of the muscles and tissues of the pelvic floor move. You also have to re-rehabilitate the muscles of your pelvic floor (Kegels anyone?) after child birth and this can be a very lengthy process. You vagina can change shape and change location so what used to work may feel completely different now that you have given birth. Breastfeeding does changes your hormones and quite often causes dryness. So like all the ladies have said, lots of lube! When you baby sucks, a hormone is released that resembles the hormones in action when you have an orgasm. Some women experience orgasms when they are breastfeeding (lucky them !). If you do have an injury to a muscle or ligament of the pelvic floor, the fact that theses muscles contract when you are nursing will slow down the heal time. So, I agree: go get a pelvic examination, lots of lube, lots of foreplay. Sex should not be painful. Brest feeding a baby does not rule out a happy and healthy sex life. I breastfed number one until 17 months and number two is 16 months old and still nursing 4 times a day. Making love requires a much longer warm up than it used to and it has taken some time to find positions and techniques that are comfortable and work. Good luck and high five for continuing to persevere with the breastfeeding! Reply I haven't had my baby yet (I'm at two months pregnant) but I have a condition that has made sex extremely painful for years – vulvodynia. I have been told that sometimes childbirth can cause it. If this is what you have there are treatments! Go see a pelvic pain specialist. This is something I have been struggling with for years, and couldn't have sex at all because of it, but when I used a combination of pills and creams it helped. Sadly, now that I am pregnant I can't use them and it hurts again, but I'm going right back to everything when I can. Here's a website about it: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vulvodynia/DS00159 Good luck! Reply I experienced the same thing – but it did improve. I didn't feel like being intimate for a while after I giving birth to my son, and when my partner and I finally did (at around 10 weeks) it hurt so much I thought I might never have sex again. I was worried it was due to how I had been stitched for a tear, or that childbirth had caused excessive dryness that would never improve. Having post-partum depression didn't help matters either (mainly that I did not really feel like being intimate in any way, shape, or form). I did some online research and read about breastfeeding producing hormones that can reduce lubrication. I knew I planned to breastfeed up to at least a year and wondered if our partnership could endure a very altered sex life for that long. However, once we started introducing solids things got better, and now (my son was 11 months old last week) things are back to what I would call normal, so there is hope out there! My advice in the meantime is to remember that intimacy comes in many forms – don't forget the power of touch! If you are in the mood for sex, use lubricant and try not to get frustrated/disheartened (I got very upset at myself for not being able to have sex). Reply Have you read this post on OffBeatMama? http://offbeatmama.com/2010/12/post-partum-sex Seems like it might be the answer to what many of you are describing? In fact, is it possible to add a link to the post into this article itself lovely site editors? Reply I didn't link to it because it describes one specific diagnosis, and we're not qualified to diagnose anyone with anything. I think the suggestions to check back with her midwife and/or a doctor are right on target. 1 agrees Reply Something that isn't often handled well is how your body is different postpartum — not just your vulva and vagina, but all the surrounding muscles and tissues. Especially if you had a long, difficult labor, there could be some stuff going on down there that needs more time, healing and possibly some medical attention. From personal experience: I had a prolonged second stage (pushing) and some interesting tears with my little one that kept me in bed (as my midwife suggested, "with my legs together") for three weeks after his birth. It took a couple of months for my muscles to stop feeling like they were still trying to push spontaneously. He just turned one, and things are still not quite the same. Imagine if you tried to run a marathon or do some other huge athletic activity without much training beforehand. You would expect your body to have a rough time afterward for a long time. You'd probably go to a sports medicine specialist, and seek out various physical therapies. People feel indulgent or silly doing the exact same thing postpartum, but they shouldn't. If things aren't returning to normal, go see a gynecologist. Get a referral to a physical therapist who specializes in postpartum work. If you think there's something going on in your head that's making it difficult, go see a therapist. There is no shame in any of these things. It is not silly. Having a positive relationship with your body is so important. Having a positive relationship with partner is so important. Yes, use the lube. Make sure you are REALLY turned on physically and emotionally before penetration. If you haven't spent time masturbating postpartum, make sure you take the time to get to know your new body. Get someone else to watch the baby if you need. But also go seek out the professionals. It's worth it. Reply There's a ton of awesome advice on here so I'm just going to add one small thing. You say in your post that "there are other ways of being intimate" and awesome to you for recognizing that. I would add that those other ways of being intimate (mutual masturbation, oral, anal play, intimate touching without orgasm, etc) are also sex. I know it won't make you stop missing intercourse, but language can be really important in the way we construct narratives about and respond to situations we find ourselves in. Until treatment or time clears up this problem for you (soon I hope!) you and your partner can still have awesome, emotionally satisfying, mind-blowing sex – just not perhaps with a penis in a vagina – and that's O.K. Adjusting the way you're thinking about it and talking about it could help ease some of the judgement/insecurity/frustration you're having. Right now isn't "no sex" time in your life, it's just "sex but without one item on the menu that's usually a favorite" time. 1 agrees Reply Edit: Meant to say "one item off the menu…"! Whoops! Reply I haven't read all the comments, but it's my understanding that breastfeeding shouldn't cause pain during intercourse. I was single when I was breastfeeding my son, but I never felt pain with my vibrator. And it's a life size virator, not a tiny wand or egg. Breastfeeding hormones can cause vaginal dryness, but that's nothing a little lube won't fix. If lube isn't cutting it, I would see another midwife or doctor. There might be a problem with your perineum or a tear not healing properly. Reply When I was breastfeeding my daughter it didnt hurt at all. I am so sorry it painful for you..I do hope it get better…Hopefully with this child, I won be in any pain again. Reply We are not breastfeeding (would have loved to, but she was born early and wasn't eating and her weight plummeted even further, both of us ending up with repeated infections which made pumping incredibly painful with bleeding and so on –it just didn't work out the way we planned). Even without breastfeeding, sex hurt until my daughter was almost 10 months old. Part of the pain was psychological ("Oh god, this is going to hurt again and it's going to suck".) But part of it was still definitely a physical thing. I think it just takes time. A lot of things "down there" are rearranged and torn and stretched and although the bleeding doesn't go on for so long, things ARE still healing long after. I can definitely see how the hormones involved in breastfeeding could cause that too, but try not to JUST blame the breastfeeding. Have hope and don't give up! And by the way, the sex thing does get better again! Reply I had a similar problem. Despite what many midwives told me, the pain got better when I took the IUD out. It was a bummer, bc I was pretty excited for a non-hormonal long term birth control option. But it was very uncomfortable for me, even though I had it checked many times and it was in correctly. There was still some after the IUD was removed, and I was told that it could be caused by adhesions that formed after birth or because the uterus changed its tilt from pregnancy. I've been going to acupuncture for it and had great results. 2 years later- almost back to normal! (feeling not frequency, that will take at least another 4!) Feel better. Reply After the birth of my son we breastfed until 4 months and sex was so painful. Even using lube it was uncomfortable. My OB checked me though and ran tests and found nothing. His diagnosis was that it was all in my mind and that I should make a point to have sex daily for a week and see if that helped. It did! The pain became less and less, I was scared to have sex due to the pain but the more I had sex to better it got and the want for sex became more also. Even after my miscarriage last year I had the same issues and I did the same thing that was suggested to me 4 years prior with my son and after two weeks or so we were back to normal, pain free, and the need and want for sex was back normal also. I hope you figure something out though! Reply My husband and I never really had any trouble bouncing back, and our babe was haven only breastmilk for, at least, the first 11 months. She will be three at the end of June and is still a strong nurser. I'm sure you trust your midwife, but you may want a second opinion. Every expert I visited warned me about potential dryness and discomfort that is associated with that, but also told me there shouldn't be any outstanding pain caused by nursing. Good luck and stay strong! Reply Thought I would mention that some people (like me, and a friend of mine) have had IUD's lead to painful intercourse, so that might also be something to look into/think about. 1 agrees Reply I'm in my sixteenth month of breastfeeding and I promise the pain has diminished but hasn't entirely disappeared. I stopped taking my birth control pill and the initial pain from the start of sex went away, still, for seemingly no reason sometimes positions we enjoyed just the other day will become impossibly painful! Most of the time we're fine, the best thing that worked for me is try having sex at different times of day and mark down the level of discomfort, also try having sex closer to and further away from the last time you nursed. These things make a surprising difference especially when it comes to well, lubricating. Positions is another huge thing, if sex hurts just try switching around a bit and the pain can go away oddly enough! Good luck! EDIT: I had a c-section and the pain isn't only dryness, sometimes it actually feels as if he's hitting the front of my uterus. I'm fully recovered and healed so I think the type of pain just depends on the person, I hope it goes away eventually. Reply Hi all, It took me almost 7 years to track down what was causing my painful intercourse. I lost count of the doctors/obgyn's I saw… but a last ditch effort to see a physiotherapist saved my sanity! I was diagnosed with Vulvodynia and treatment for my symptoms included a combination of biofeedback, specific pelvic floor muscle exercises and a 6 month course of low-dose anti-fungal medication to combat the infections. The condition and it's symptoms vary, but it may be something to look into. Good luck xo Reply If sex is still painful after several months, it is NOT normal no matter what your breasts are doing! Please, please, remember that there are specialists who focus on removing pain from intercourse. There are so many complicated muscles, ligaments, joints and etc involved in sex that it is very easy for something to cause pain. And women are terrible about being proactive and seeking healing, either because they're too ashamed or they listen to other people who tell them "it's just the way it is." If you had blinding pain every time you took a step, would you listen to someone who said "Oh, well, that's just the way it is, you'll hurt walking for months until you stop breastfeeding." ? I bet you wouldn't! Please take care of yourself and look into your options including pelvic therapy. They can do all sorts of cool things these days. Heck, just the other day a therapist was telling me about how she can hook a woman up to bio-feedback monitors so the woman can see if she's actually doing effective kegels – a real kegel involves 9 different muscles, so it's easy to not get it right! But with monitoring you can actually see if you're using your muscles in the most effective way to promote pelvis health. And that's just one weapon in their arsenal. You *can* get help, and you *can* get better. 🙂 1 agrees Reply Hi, I decided o comment even though the last comment was months ago. It is not helpful advice to just tell the mums in these situations to simply use a lubricant. If it were this simple they wouldn't be asking. This levl of intercourse pain is extreme and feels like a knife is being thrust in you.The midwife's comment was spot on….this is a drawback from the hormonal changes of breastfeeding and it does return to normal soon after stopping. My experince from feeding 3 Children, between 1-4 yrs each is that despite oodles of lube, great foreplay, even pessaries, etc…..the actual moisture in my vagial tissues was so low that elasticity was minimal. Do lube is ony a bandaid on a Much deeper problem. My wonderful gynecologist said for soe women the only choice is continue breastfeeding and take actual intercourse off the table or stop breastfeeding. I loved breastfeeding and loved having intercourse to look forward to after i stopped. Please dont feel ashamed or worried if you are experiencing this despite your best efforts. It is 'normal' , even if its not that common. 1 agrees Reply I'm interested as to what is causing this… You mentioned the IUD which is the likely cause, I guess. If you are not comfortable having sex with your husband while you await the pain to subside, have you considered adult toys? They may be able ease the pain, or allow you two to enjoy sex in other ways in which you will both continue to be pleased 🙂 Reply Ok so pain here too! Dr said it would hurt due to breastfeeding. She said that it would feel like sand paper…perfect description! We have used lube out the wazoo and it still hurts unbearably. I don't know what to do…HELP! I hate that my fear of the pain keeps making me push my husband away. I find that I don't even want him to touch me because I don't want to have to say no AGAIN…I love him and am still very much attracted to him. Any advice? 1 agrees Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.