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Weird Post-Partum Symptoms

You just delivered and you’re getting:

  • Night Sweats
  • Hot Flashes
  • Vaginal Dryness resulting in…
  • Painful Intercourse

Is this premature menopause? No, they are actually normal post-partum hormone changes. While you’re breast-feeding your milk hormone (prolactin) suppresses your ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) to near menopausal levels.

Normally I don’t recommend treating these symptoms unless they interfere with normal function. One example is you can treat vaginal dryness with lubricants such as “Replens” or with vaginal estrogens. Vaginal estrogen creams and suppositories do not cause significant levels of estrogen in the bloodstream and are safe to use while breastfeeding.

  • Did you get hot flashes or night sweats with breast feeding?
  • Did you treat sexual discomfort or just “put up with it”?

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{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Jana August 19, 2009, 9:49 pm

    My postpartum issue is very bad body odor. Pre-delivery, I could go a few days without a shower, wear a shirt or bra a few times before a wash was needed, and stay fresh with only one or two applications of deoderant in a day. My B.O. would come and go with stress/anxiety but was never unruly. Now, as my first born turns 4 months old, not only is my body odor stronger, it smells different and I cannot seem to control it. I have to wash anything I wear and shower twice daily. I am not sure why this is happening and I can’t seem to find any supportive articles online to prove I’m not alone.

    • Shelley Binkley September 16, 2009, 9:19 am

      You may have retained pregnancy tissue which has become chronically inflamed or infected, or just a simple chronic uterus infection. Check with your doctor.

  • Jennifer March 23, 2011, 8:50 pm

    This is for Jana. Your not alone. I have a 2 month old and feel the same way. The B.O. Is so annoying since I don’t have time to shower as often as I probably should! I know your post was over a year ago. But I am wondering if you ever got an answer or cure!

    • Shelley Binkley April 4, 2011, 1:35 pm

      The bad b.o. is due to a change in the ratio of testosterone levels to estrogen and progesterone. Both postpartum-lactational state and menopausal states characterized by a higher ratio of testosterone to estrogen/progesterone than the ovulation or pregnancy states. An-hydrin is a good deordorant for this.

  • Angelica Sanchez October 22, 2011, 11:53 pm

    with my first postpartum experience i did not had the bad body odor. but this time my body odor is extremly bad, specially in summer time with the heat. i was sweating alot, even putting perfume or deodorant and taking showers twice daily was not helping at all. it has been 12 weeks since i had my baby and the odor and hot flashes are kind of vanishing but i got to the point that was not feeling comfortable on my on skin. like if it wasnt enough my hair now is super dry, is falling off, i have very bad split ends, my sking feels rough and make up doesnt even help to cover my inperfect skin.even my relationshi with my husbad was getting affected. Ladys do not feel bad at all, this changes are normal, just let your partner know what you are going through and the both of you research about postpartum changes so both can be on the same page…

    • Shelley Binkley December 16, 2013, 7:21 am

      Hi Angelica,

      These are common post partum changes. They usually resolve in 3-6 months.

      Thank you for reading the blog and sharing your experience.
      -Dr. B

  • Michelle June 22, 2012, 1:41 pm

    Can these changes in hormonal levels cause migratory tingling? It occurs in my face, neck, back, buttocks, legs, etc…ruled out MS & lupus. Started 11 months after delivery, has lessened in intensity after weaning off of breastfeeding/pumping.

    • Shelley Binkley December 15, 2013, 6:38 am

      Hi Michelle,

      Many migraines are related to or triggered by hormonal changes.
      Thank you for reading the blog and sharing your experience.

      -Dr. B

  • Chelsea May 25, 2013, 5:32 pm

    Why is it that 2 weeks PP I have ZERO appetite? It’s not that I’m too busy to eat, I’m just not hungry! Whenever I (or my husband reminds me to) do get around to eating, it’s not much more then a few bites and that’s all. I don’t understand!

    • Shelley Binkley October 31, 2013, 5:45 pm

      Hi Chelsea,

      Some of the loss of appetite may be hormonal; while some may be attributable to the excitement of having a new baby. It is likely to be self-limiting and normalize on it’s own in a few weeks. If it doesn’t you should see your doctor.

      Thank you for reading the blog and commenting.

      -Dr. B

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