For some women, sex may be not be allowed during pregnancy due to pregnancy complications. Some pregnant couples may find sex uncomfortable, some may just abstain for the fear of hurting the baby. However, postpartum sex is a completely different aspect.
For women, the libido or the sexual urge does not resurface till about 3 months post delivery. There are both physical and emotional reasons – recovery from the actual birth process; vaginal or surgical, sleepless nights, and the full-time demands of a new baby! Additionally due to fluctuating hormones the vagina can feel very dry and may not lubricate easily which can make intercourse painful and hence not enjoyable.
Post the birth of the baby, the placenta separates from the uterine wall and is delivered. The placental site of implantation leaves a wound in the uterine wall which needs to heal. Any kind of insertion into the vagina can introduce infections and this can lead to postpartum complications.
You may also have vaginal stitches which will leave your vaginal muscles feeling sore for a few weeks post birth. It is best to wait for the uterus and the vagina to heal completely before resuming your sex life. This also means that you must wait for postpartum bleeding .i.e. lochia flow to stop completely.
The vaginal muscles may also feel loose and this will reduce sexual pleasure for both partners. You should start doing kegel exercises immediately post birth to ensure that the vaginal muscles regain their tone and elasticity.
You may also find that your breasts leak breast milk and this may seem uncomfortable to you and your partner. You may want to keep wearing your bra if this is the case.
Do remember to discuss contraception with your doctor as it is possible to get pregnant even if you have not started your periods just yet. Ovulation can begin immediately once the lochia flow has stopped.
If you don’t feel very energetic just yet, don’t feel guilty about not having sex after pregnancy. Discuss your feelings with your partner. Do take a moment to understand his perspective as well. You may be able to come up with some other ideas to build intimacy for a few weeks till both of you settle into life after baby.