Response to readers
When women lose that loving feeling (part 2)
A male reader, in response to my article, 'When women lose that loving feeling' asked for information about the types of vaginal lubricants available. In response, I would indicate that if a woman is experiencing vaginal dryness, she can use a water-based lubricant such as KY Jelly or a vaginal moisturiser such as Replens.
Studies have shown that these lubricants decrease a woman's symptoms of vaginal dryness, pain with intercourse, vaginal itching and irritation. Replens has some additional benefits of improving vaginal elasticity and decreasing vaginal dryness. Replens has benefits that are similar to hormonal vaginal creams such as Premarin: however, it is not as effective.
For women who do not have sufficient relief with lubricants, Premarin cream is a more effective alternative. If women (particularly those after menopause) have regular intercourse, these products can help reduce their risk of dryness and vaginal thinning.
Living without sex
Dear Ms Rainford,
I must commend you on your magnificent articles in
. My girlfriend and I are having some problems. We have been together for three and a half years and we have one child who is now one year and two months. My issue is that we haven't had sex since he was born. I find this a bit odd. My girlfriend says that she is not in the mood. She is 28 years old and I'm just 22.
While she was pregnant, she had to move back with her mother due to the inexperience of looking after a child. I do not want to go outside my relationship for satisfaction but I am facing a dilemma.
Also, we do communicate well on the telephone, but once we meet face-to-face, we tend to disagree. I think she is too caught up with her son (which I don't have a problem with). I would really like to know if this is normal. Thank you.
I am sorry to hear about your predicament. Unfortunately, many women have a decreased interest in sex after child birth for a variety of factors such as pain with intercourse or fatigue from the responsibilities of being a new mother. Pain can result from tears or cuts during vaginal delivery or because of vaginal dryness associated with breastfeeding. Usually this improves over time and many women completely improve by six months after the baby is born.
There is limited research on this topic but from information I have gathered, many women's interest in sex returns to normal after six months. Nevertheless, there are those who experience problems after this time. I would suggest that you have an open and honest discussion with your spouse to identify factors that might be affecting her interest and suggest that she sees a gynaecologist for a thorough evaluation. I certainly hope that as a couple you are able to find a satisfactory solution.
Dr Monique Rainford is a consulting obstetrician and gynaecologist; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.