Breastfeeding and Sexual Desire

I am asked quite frequently about the impact that breastfeeding has on female sexual desire. Many women feel like something is wrong with them or that they will not ever return to their normal sexual selves. While it is common to feel this way, the reality is that once nursing ends they will most likely experience a return of their typical sexual desire.

What are the cause of these changes? Hormone levels do not return to normal until nursing has come to an end. While nursing three main hormones are dramatically changed. Estrogen and testosterone decline and prolactin is elevated. Estrogen helps to moisten the vaginal lining, therefore some breastfeeding mothers may report discomfort/pain, or need for more lubricant aid, than in times past. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for lactation in breastfeeding mothers. Estrogen and testosterone are known as sex hormones and significantly decline for those nursing.