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Sex After Pregnancy: How Long Should You Wait?

Sex After Pregnancy: How Long Should You Wait?

9 Mar 2022 | 6 min Read

Sudeshna Chakravarti

Author | 93 Articles

The first few weeks of postpartum are challenging for new and seasoned mums alike. You and your baby are still settling into a routine, sleep continues to be a luxury, and it’s a miracle if you find some time to shower and grab a quick bite, let alone remember to self-care. 

Resuming your sex life may not feel like a priority to you, in the first few weeks, or even months after giving birth. This is because, whether you had a C-section or delivered vaginally, your body will take time to recover completely.

Moreover, with all your energy focused on your little one, you may find it difficult to get back into the mood. But once you are ready to reconnect with your partner in an intimate manner, here are some guidelines that can help you kickstart your sex life after delivery.

How Long should You Wait before Resuming Sex Life After Delivery?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists stated, there is no fixed window that determines when a woman can resume having sex after birth. However, experts recommend waiting for around 4-6 weeks before getting back into sex as irrespective of how you delivered, your body needs some time to heal. For instance:

  • If you had a vaginal birth, you may have had a vaginal or perineal tear or an episiotomy. These conditions require time to heal and sex prior to four weeks could lead to vaginal infections.
  • And if you have had a C-section, recovery may take even longer. The incision takes time to heal, and your doctor may recommend waiting for at least 4-6 weeks to resume sex. In case of a cesarean, we suggest you consult your medical practitioner and get their approval about resuming your sex life.

Why Should You Seek Approval from Your Doctor First?

It is crucial to get a clearance from your doctor about resuming sex at your first postpartum appointment. This appointment is likely to take place within three weeks of giving birth and helps the doctor to establish if you are experiencing any complications post-delivery.

It also helps them ensure that your postpartum bleeding has stopped and it’s safe for you to get back to your sex life. The bottom line is, as long as your doctor gives you a green signal, you can resume having sex when you feel comfortable. 

What Does Postpartum Sex Feel Like?

You may experience some discomforts during postpartum sex

You just brought a new life into this world, and even if you sailed through your pregnancy, had the easiest labour and delivery, keep in mind that your body needs time to heal.

There are multiple sex-related discomforts that you may experience after giving birth. This is because your estrogen levels drop after birth and while you are breastfeeding and you have a low sex drive.

Here’s a list of things that you may experience during postpartum sex:

  • Vaginal dryness and discharge
  • Vaginal pain or soreness
  • Back and body ache
  • Discomfort in the breasts and nipple soreness
  • Incision pain or numbness (in case of C-section)
  • Joint pain

However, you don’t need to worry a lot, as these discomforts are only temporary, and once you recover fully, you will be back to feeling normal again. However, if your symptoms persist, or they concern you, you must consult your doctor.

Also, it’s normal to feel exhausted or overwhelmed during postpartum sex. Ensure to be gentle with yourself, discuss the matter with your partner, and take things slowly.

Common Postpartum Sex Challenges You May Face

During postpartum, your body is still recovering from delivery and your hormones are probably creating havoc. The following are some common challenges that you may face after resuming sex:

  • You May Experience Pain While Having Sex: For some moms, pain during postpartum sex is short-lived and can be fixed with some extra lubricant. But for mothers, who went through significant tears during childbirth, the pain can be intense. 

In this case, your doctor can recommend taking pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil before intercourse. 

  • You Are Still Bleeding: Postpartum bleeding also called lochia is normal during recovery. It helps get rid of the extra mucus, blood, and tissues needed during pregnancy.

You might experience bleeding after having sex. But don’t worry, the bleeding will subside in some time. But if it doesn’t, do consult your doctor. 

  • Your Breasts May Feel Tender And Leaky: You can try nursing or pumping before having sex. This will make your breasts less sensitive. You can also wear a nursing bra during intercourse as it will help relieve some of the heaviness.

Can You Get Pregnant With Postpartum Sex?

You can get pregnant surprisingly quickly during postpartum. Breastfeeding has hormonal benefits and can act as natural birth control for the first four to six months after delivery. It is effective for mums who: 

  • Haven’t started menstruating
  • Are less than six months in postpartum
  • Haven’t started bleeding yet

However, do not consider breastfeeding as your only form of birth control. If you do not plan to have another baby soon, use a reliable method of birth control, such as using a condom.

Tips for A Healthy Sex Life with Your Partner Post-Pregnancy

Ensure a happy sex life after childbirth by following certain tips

You can have a healthy and satisfactory sex life even after giving birth. Here are some tips to ensure that:

  • Use A Lubricant: Use a water-based lubricant as it will help reduce pain and increase pleasure. 
  • Take It Slow: Even if your doctor has given a go-ahead on resuming sex, you might not feel like jumping back to it. Try to take things slow. Indulge in intimate activities together, such as a massage.
  • Practice Kegels: Kegels can help your pelvic floor muscles to recover faster. This can help you with post-delivery problems, such as incontinence. Practising Kegels can help you regain strength and sensation in your vagina. 
  • Talk With Your Partner: Sex after delivery is different, but not necessarily bad. To make things more comfortable and exciting, you should have an open conversation with your partner about what feels good and what doesn’t.

This will help you have a better experience.

The most important thing to remember while resuming sex after delivery is to give your body time to adjust. It’s absolutely acceptable if you are not ready to hit the bed with your partner just yet. 

Know that there are other ways to be intimate with your partner. So take things slow, and enjoy the process.

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