LaMarre, Amanda K.; Paterson, Laurel Q.; Gorzalka, Boris B.
September 2003
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2003, Vol. 12 Issue 3/4, p151
Academic Journal
In this paper we review the existing literature on the relationship between breastfeeding and postpartum maternal sexuality. Latency to resumption of sexual activity and frequency of sexual activity, sexual desire, dyspareunia, fatigue, mood and depression are used as discrete categories for discussion. The research literature indicates that women who breastfeed, as compared to those who bottle-feed, are more likely to experience decreases in sexual functioning, especially desire. Research increasingly suggests that various factors modulate the influence of breastfeeding on sexual functioning, including psychosocial and hormonal variables. Of particular interest is the potential association between hyperprolactinemia in breastfeeding women and sexual functioning, as mediated by its effects on both androgen and estrogen secretion. The limitations and deficits of past research, practical implications of these findings, and future directions for research are discussed.


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