1. Sexuality during and after pregnancy
Many expectant mothers are interested in whether sex is contraindicated during pregnancy. There is no single answer. Sexual intercourse is not harmful if a woman does not have a tendency to have uterine contractions and premature birth. At the end of pregnancy – about a month before delivery, it is recommended to reduce sexual contact in order to prevent infections.
The desire for sex changes with the onset of pregnancy. There is a decrease in libido in virgins in the first trimester and its re-increases in the second. This dependence is not observed in multiparous women.
Posture is important for a woman’s comfort during intercourse. From the middle of the second trimester, it is desirable to have contacts in the lateral position. The reason for this is that the supine position is risky – the uterus and inferior vena cava can be compressed (vena cava syndrome), which will significantly disrupt the blood supply to the fetus.
In the postpartum period, a woman’s libido is constantly changing. There are facts proving that the desire for sex in breastfeeding mothers is stronger than in non-breastfeeding ones. In most cases, the resumption of sexual intercourse does not occur until three to four months after birth due to fear of pain and physical fatigue (24-hour newborn care).
Elevated levels of the hormone prolactin cause estrogen deficiency and a feeling of dryness in the genital area, especially during sex. Lubricants are recommended for this.
A woman, whether or not she is breastfeeding, can become pregnant again. If the family does not want another child, the use of adequate methods of contraception is mandatory.
2. Sexuality after 35 and later
After the age of 35, a woman’s desire for sexual intimacy weakens compared to younger years. After this period, libido remains at the same level for a long time. Almost 1/3 of women aged 60 to 80 are sexually active. Their ability to experience orgasm is preserved. In some cases, it even increases, since the fear of getting pregnant is no longer relevant.
There are several problems in sexual intercourse at this age – the need for longer stimulation of a woman to reach the climax of ecstasy, dyspareunia and urinary incontinence. Pain during sex occurs due to estrogen deficiency and atrophy of the vaginal tissues. This is overcome by topical application of estrogen creams. Urinary incontinence often occurs during intercourse. This is a particularly unpleasant moment for a woman, significantly reducing her desire for sexual intimacy and the ability to experience orgasm. Especially important in this case is the correct surgical treatment, which restores not only the physiology of the bladder, but also women’s self-esteem.
3. Sexuality after gynecological operations
After the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) and appendages, many women fall into the so-called post-hysterectomy syndrome. There is a decrease in the capacity for sexual experiences that cannot be explained by the removal of certain organs. First of all, the problems are psychological. Due to the lack of preliminary explanations and reference to incomplete and unreliable information about the operation, the woman refuses to have sexual intercourse with her partner.
The performed gynecological operations do not exclude the possibility of having an active and satisfactory sexual life. To do this, it is desirable to carry out hormone replacement therapy after consultation with a specialist.
Shortening of the vagina and abdominal adhesions are organic causes leading to complaints of dyspareunia after recovery from intervention.