Q&A: not wanting sex 2 years postpartum

Before today's question, does anyone have a great easy way to clean out the valves from sippy cups? Reader Marie and I appreciate it.

"Perplexed and unhorny" writes:

"Two years post baby (including 14 months of breastfeeding, 6 months exclusively; baby sleeping through the night since 3 months (so I can't blame fatigue)), I don't feel very interested in sex. I don't have nearly the same level of arousal or desire compared to my pre-baby years. I notice I have less sensation in my nipples and the vagoogoo - the whole area. I had a fairly easy delivery, no tears, had an epidural, just pushed 1-2-3-4 and baby was out in literally 10 minutes from the time I started pushing. So I can't blame birth trauma. On the rare occasions that I do feel a little aroused, the climax - well, it's not much of a climax. My periods have returned and they are normal. So I'm thinking it's not hormonal.

What's going on? I'm assuming the decrease in nipple sensation is related to the breastfeeding. Is this a common experience? What about in the vagoogoo area? Will things get better over time? Since I don't have much interest, it's not that much of a deal that I don't have much sensation etc...but this doesn't seem normal. And there might be complaints coming my way soon.... "

My guess is that it's not one thing, it's all of them.

First, I wouldn't write off the lack of fatigue. Just because your kid sleeps through the night does not mena you aren't bone-tired. Whether you're at work all day, then coming home and taking care of your child plus everything else that has to be done, or at home all day with a 2-year-old, you're tired. And focused on a lot of things that aren't sex.

I also think there's probably still a lot going on hormonally. (Think of all the women you know with "regular" cycles who still have problems with hormonal balance that causes infertility. Just getting a regular period does not mean you're in balance hormonally.) It's possible that your system just "reset" at a different level that's affecting nipple and vaginal sensation. (Since you stopped nursing almost a year ago, I don't know if the nursing is the culprit for the lack of nipple sensation.)

Don't underestimate the forces of prgnancy itself. Just because the delivery was simple doesn't mean you didn't get all shifted around in your bones and ligaments and nerves just from carrying the baby for 9 months. Women all over the world would probably feel better in general adn sexier specifically if we'd all do regular yoga or go get a few chiropractic treatments or deep-tissue massages postpartum just to kind of snap things back into place.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say there might also be a little bit of unresolved tension in your relationship with your partner. Two years is about the mark when the inequities of childraising start to hit the fan and either boil over into a cauldron of seething rage or get talked about and modified, then dissipate.

It seems to me like nothing's going to be a magic cure, but you can do things that will help you feel better and address some of the possible issues, and in a few months you might start to notice a difference. At the very least, you'll be happier with your body and frame of mind.

The first thing I'd do is (and I almost hate to keep harping on it, especially because I get no kickback from recommending it :-) start doing the exercise T-Tapp. It's going to help you sleep better and be more rested, and it will also balance your hormones by stimulating your lymphatic system. One of the well-known side effects of doing T-Tapp (that isn't often mentioned on public message boards, but that women will talk about in private) is an increase in libido and sensation after a month or two of doing T-Tapp. (Menopausal women and post-menopausal women report the same thing, too.)

If you're considering T-Tapp, don't forget to read Summer's post about how to get started, as it tells you everything you need to know about doing it.

The T-Tapp, with its emphasis on proper alignement, may help with some of the crunching and nerve-pinching stuff from pregnancy. But you should probably get a few chiropratic adjustments and/or massages, too. And none of this spa-style hot rock, kelp-wrap massage. Deep, therapeutic massage to help move out gunk in your system, relax your muscles, and get things back into place in the hip and pelvic region.

The other thing that could help is to have some real talk-time with your partner. A little time to reconnect every day, even just 15 minutes of talking about non kid or household things would help reestablish the pre-baby bond. And if either of you is feeling some resentment about the way things are going on a daily basis, it's time to get it out in the open so you can figure out how to resolve it to both of your satisfaction.

The phone lines are open. Anyone want to say anything even remotely on this topic? You're having great sex post-baby? Or bad sex? Or no sex? You have a solution? Or another problem?

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