Q: After having a third child, my body hasn’t bounced back as well as before. I’m tired all the time, and the last ten pounds of baby weight is now 20. I feel unattractive and I’ve also lost some physical sensation down there, so our sex life has tanked. Is this permanent?
A: Pregnancy, parenting, marriage, work, and family obligations combined with lack of sleep can all take a toll on your sex life. One thing you should know is that it’s most likely taken a toll on your hormones, too.
Generally, when women lose sensation in the genital region, the problem is most often due to a weakened pelvic floor or damaged nerves from childbirth, an episiotomy or vaginal tearing during delivery. It can also be due to estrogen or testosterone deficiencies or a combination of all of these factors. The good news is that it’s usually treatable.
We recommend all women do Kegels exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and bladder muscles. Bonus: some women also report increased orgasm intensity and duration. Strong PC muscles also reduce the risk for uterine prolapse, which is where the uterus collapses through the cervix into the vagina. Just the thought makes you clench your PC muscles, doesn’t it?!
Good hormonal balance is also critical. With three children, it’s no wonder you’re tired, but growing humans wreaks havoc on your hormones before and after birth. It’s common for women to develop hypothyroid after pregnancy, which can make it difficult to lose weight. Have a complete thyroid panel and also check your estrogen and testosterone levels. Estrogen helps keep your skin and vaginal tissues moist and supple. Testosterone plays a key role in energy and thyroid function, as well as sexual desire, genital sensation, and orgasmic response. Both play roles in mood and brain function. Once your hormones are balanced, and you’ve been doing Kegels regularly, you can expect some improvement. However, serious cases of damage to the pelvic floor, nerve damage or scarring may require surgery to tighten muscles, improve appearance and restore sensation. Share your concerns with your family doctor or OB/GYN. Together, you can explore your treatment options and find the right solution for you.
If this sounds familiar, call and book a personal or couples consultation to review your treatment options. 480.619.4097