Overcoming Libido and Orgasms Issues for Women After Childbirth

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Orgasm Issues In Women and How to Overcome Them

“A woman’s greatest challenge is to begin caring for herself as much as she is caring for others.” – Dr. John Gray

Men aren’t the only ones to face performance anxiety, though for many women the anxiety stems more from something mental than physical. Imagine if you will, having the tickle in your nose but never being able to sneeze.

Most sexual encounters involve a man’s orgasm (if a man is involved), but many women
find it challenging to reach orgasm. In fact, according to a study by Dr. Robert W. Birch
as published in Pathways to Pleasure, 10 to 15 percent of American women have never experienced an orgasm.

I know this to be true in my practice, where I’ve had many women come to me with this problem. It’s sad to realize that the medical industry has treated a man’s inability to get an erection as an emergency while no urgency has ever been placed on female sexual satisfaction.

With the advent of Viagra, there was briefly a surge of interest in finding something similar to increase female sexual desire. However, this search was a bust, mostly because it ignored the main issue.

Viagra (and its ilk) don’t increase sexual pleasure or sex drive, they simply drive blood to the penis. Some of the many reasons that women are unable to reach orgasm are much more complicated than lack of blood flow to the clitoris.

Here are 15 orgasm barriers for women:

1. Traumatic past sexual experience
2. Feeling guilty about sex
3. Fear of pregnancy
4. Fear of failure
5. Fear of rejection
6. Lack of stimulation
7. Low self-esteem
8. Being too inhibited
9. Poor communication
10.Chronic tiredness
11.Resentment towards partner
12.Illness or Surgery
13.Medication or Alcohol
14.Pelvic Floor Prolapse
15. Stress

Getting to the bottom of any of the above issues will increase her desire, removing the psychological obstacles holding her back.

Communication is Key

If you aren’t willing to share your fears or inhibitions with your partner, you are limiting yourself to sexual frustration or “okay” sex at best.

Out of the women that do experience orgasm, only 17% report reaching a climax during intercourse. This is due in large part to the fact that sexual penetration does not usually stimulate the clitoris, which is a major component in female arousal. One way for a woman to increase the possibility of orgasm during intercourse is to simultaneously stimulate the clitoris through touch or toys.

Keep in mind that the clitoris contains over 8,000 nerve endings — double the number in the head of the penis! So even an indirect touch with fingers or a vibrator can set “The Big O” in motion. Many women assume a submissive or passive role during sex and find it uncomfortable to be too vocal with their own needs. It’s important for both male and female partner’s to keep this in mind and make a conscious effort to get her comfortable enough to express her own sexual needs. And, women, if you want to reach that orgasmic peak, don’t be afraid to ask for whatever you need to get you there! Chances are he’ll be relieved and excited to hear all about it!

A good way to start is to assume a position with the woman on top. This allows her to control the movements and by leaning in various directions she can find the suitable clitoral stimulation.

Body Issues

One of my clients found an interesting way to rediscover her orgasm after having a baby. Janine was a 39-year-old mother of two who came to me with concerns that “her children stole her orgasm.” Highly sexual and at times multi-orgasmic while in her 20’s, Janine
hadn’t been able to achieve an orgasm in seven years, since the birth of her first child.

As we talked I learned that she had been a dancer for most of her life until she became a mom and her strength and flexibility had added much fun to her bedroom antics. What we discovered together was that she was self-conscious about the way her post-birth body looked, with stretch marks and added weight. Her husband said he found her more beautiful than ever, but the dancer in her mind didn’t agree. When I suggested that Janine blindfold her husband during sex, she laughed until she cried. They were not “those kind of people,” but when I explained that part of her issue seemed to be with her body image, and that if she removed his ability to see her, she would be free to experiment and move around without fear that he was looking at the parts of her that she didn’t like, she said she’d think about it. But she remained doubtful that she could find the nerve to bring it up
with her sweet but reserved husband.

Well, she obviously brought it up because her husband insisted on coming to the next session where he greeted me with a huge hug and a bouquet of flowers!

Going back to what we learned about the plethora of white matter in the female brain making endless connections to information centers, we can extrapolate that women allow many other factors to seep into their sexual experience that may have nothing to do with sex at all.

This is exactly what had happened with Janine. Her self-conscious body image about what childbirth had done to her dancer’s body had interfered with her ability to orgasm!


Let’s not forget about oxytocin, which is incredibly important to female pleasure! Some things that have been shown to stimulate oxytocin include:

♥ Collaboration: Holding hands, cuddling, eye gazing, synchronized breathing or listening to music together are all activities that build trust and release oxytocin for a woman.

♥ Shared responsibility: Parental bonds from breastfeeding a baby or nurturing an infant by holding, singing or bathing him or her can release this love hormone.

♥ Being served a home-cooked meal: When a man can cook and serve a meal to his partner, even if it’s just breakfast in bed, it makes her feel loved, valued and appreciated.

♥ Massage: Receiving a massage can be relaxing, healing or arousing depending upon the intention, but all of them naturally increase oxytocin levels.

♥ Breast massage: Gentle breast stimulation encourages blood circulation for a healthy lymphatic system and releases oxytocin. You can use massage oil or cream depending upon
your partner’s preferences. Begin by using light pressure in circular motions with your right hand on her left breast, then your left hand on her right breast. Follow by using both of
your hands on each breast with gentle strokes that cover the entire breast area from the underarm, over the nipples down to the bottom of her rib cage.

Breastwork is part of the tradition within Ayurvedic massage that originated in India thousands of years ago. Some of the benefits of Ayurvedic massage include blood circulation, strengthening of brain function, and a calming and relaxing effect on body, mind and soul. The higher the oxytocin level, the better you are able to deal with every day stressors. For men, increased oxytocin levels also lead to feelings of love.


♥ You can engage in daily activities on your own to release oxytocin by thinking about someone you love and trust such as a family member or even a pet. Yes, research has shown that pet owners experience increased oxytocin from the love they give and get!

♥ Compassion is linked to higher levels of oxytocin, so volunteering for a charity or being generous to people less fortunate will make you feel good about yourself and reward you with the love hormone.

♥ Laughter is the best medicine for depression and releases bursts of oxytocin, so go to a comedy club or see a funny movie.

♥ Listening to soothing music releases oxytocin, so listen when you are in stressful situations such as driving in rush hour or cooking for company.

♥ Go to a spa and pamper yourself with a massage, facial manicure or pedicure to trigger some self-love and oxytocin.

The Baby Brain

Aside from maintaining a great sex life, many couples prioritize raising a family. Having a child is a life choice that initiates a whole new world of chemical cocktails, sexual challenges, and barriers to romance. While trying to get pregnant can interject a new dose of dopamine and adrenaline – you’re doing something new together! you’re bonding like crazy! – once the pregnancy begins, it’s important to be aware not only of the physical and physiological changes, but also how each of your brains is processing the experience.

Having a baby can certainly bring you closer together as long as you have empathy and understanding for what new feelings your partner may be experiencing, and how they may differ from your own.

Pregnancy Brain

The primary “pregnancy hormone”, human chorionic gonadotropin (better known as HCG), helps to stimulate the production of progesterone in the ovaries during early pregnancy. The cells that make it go on to form the placenta and, once the placenta is developed, it takes over producing the progesterone, as well as estrogen. This added surge of progesterone and estrogen contribute to wild mood swings as their abundance results in blocking the mood-stabilizer serotonin. The stereotype of the hormonal pregnant woman crying one moment and laughing hysterically the next has substantial scientific basis.

Studies have linked HCG to morning sickness, which is one of the physical hurdles to watch out for during pregnancy. Also watch out for migraines, which could crop up as a result of increased estrogen. Other side effects of carrying a child may include heartburn, fatigue, frequent urination and hemorrhoids – oh the joy of it all!

Mommy Brain

“A mother’s sensory-rich life with her newborn actually remaps part of her brain—
improving her ability to interpret new information.” – Katherine Ellison

Once the baby is born, the breastfeeding stage releases huge amounts of oxytocin in the female brain, causing extraordinary bonding between mother and child. Any partner, on the other hand, may feel left out in the cold, as the new mother’s breasts have suddenly turned
into faucets, not the playthings they once were. Many women report not missing sex at all as their lives have become consumed with the endless diapers and feedings, and their “intimate needs” are being met by that new little person who only wants to gaze into her eyes for hours at a time! Even a partner who is extremely hands-on cannot physically understand the transformation that the baby-mama has undergone. But they can certainly be empathetic and create a supportive environment for increased communication, which isn’t always the first instinct of new parents.

Katherine Ellison, author of The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes Us Smarter, draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to demonstrate that, contrary to long-established wisdom that having children dumbs you down; raising children may make moms smarter. She benefits from enhanced senses during pregnancy and early motherhood, the alertness and memory skills necessary to manage like a pro, a greater aptitude for risk-taking, and a talent for empathy and negotiation. These advantages not only help mothers in raising their children, but in their work and social lives as well.

The Daddy Brain

“While men have little control over the physical course of their partners’ pregnancies, they do harbor a lot of emotions about pregnancy and fatherhood, and thus need to be involved and invested.” – Dr. Mehmet Oz

New dads are just as excited about the arrival of their child as new moms are, but they don’t have the battle scars or the chemical  cocktails to prove it. Or do they? Louann Brizendine MD, author of The Male Brain, has discovered that men do undergo hormonal
changes during the baby’s imminent arrival, and afterward. The stress hormone cortisol rises considerably about four to six weeks after a man learns he’s going to become a father, and begins to fall again as the pregnancy progresses. Brizendine posits that this surge of cortisol puts men into “alert mode”, waking him up to the reality of the new life coming.

“Get prepared!” his brain is screaming at first, and then as he creates and executes a solid plan, his brain chemicals calm down.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, TV Show Host and Cardiothoracic surgeon who has six New York Times best sellers including You: The Owner’s Manual, and You: Having a Baby that he co-wrote with Dr. Michael F. Rozen, says, “Believe it or not, there is a very real thing called “daddy
brain”: Expectant dads go through hormonal and brain changes that roughly parallel those of their pregnant mates; it’s why there are such phenomena as sympathy weight gain and sympathy pregnancy.

Prolactin increases 20 percent in dads in the weeks before birth, and the stress hormone cortisol doubles in dads during pregnancy. Even testosterone dips after birth, allowing the male brain to let down its ultra-male guard and be receptive to bonding.”

In It Together

As different as men and women can be, we all strive for the same things: love, respect, kindness, and personal growth. By understanding our differences, we are more easily able to focus on our similarities and the shared goals we are trying to build
in our romantic relationships.

And by focusing on the desires we share, we will increase our levels of romantic and sexual


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