Sexual function in the post-partum period

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Regaining libido in the post-partum period is certainly a hot topic – whether or not it’s openly discussed between partners or with their care providers. Resuming physical intimacy is not typically achieved at the magical “6-week check-in,” but more often lags throughout the first 6-months post-partum, which can potentially be challenging for all parties involved.

The reasons for the continued decline in libido post-partum are multi-faceted – including hormonal changes, exhaustion, and generally feeling “touched out.” But a 2018 Australian study has drawn some new connections to help clarify:

1)   As many women have claimed for decades, higher partner support predicts higher female sexual functioning (i.e., doing extra help around the house does indeed count as foreplay for post-partum women).

2)   Peri-natal depression predicts lower levels of sexual functioning, regardless of anti-depressant use (i.e., noting the impact of depression on sexual functioning – so both Mom and her partner understand – should be a key part of post-partum care).

3)   Breast-feeding did contribute to lower sexual functioning at 6 months, but not afterward (i.e. during the more intensive months of breast-feeding, when hormones would be more affected, a post-partum woman is more likely to have a lack of libido)

Libido and sexual functioning post-partum is a sensitive but highly important discussion for care providers to initiate with new mothers and their partners, so that all sides understand the various complex issues at play.

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information in your pregnancy, sign up for my free webinar: 7 Pregnancy Myths Debunked – and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your pregnant patients, please get in touch with us at

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.


Galbally, M. et al. (2018). Depression across pregnancy and the postpartum, antidepressant use and the association with female sexual function. Psychological Function, 2018.

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8 Proven Shortcuts To A Healthy Pregnancy

it's free!
Protecting your personal information is of utmost importance to me