When Can You Have Sex After C-Section And Safety Tips To Follow

When Can You Have Sex After C-Section And Safety Tips To Follow

19 Jun 2023 | 6 min Read

Sudeshna Chakravarti

Author | 759 Articles

While a c-section does not cause vaginal trauma, it still involves a major abdominal incision, which may take quite some time to recover. To prevent strain in your incision scar, doctors usually recommend avoiding sex until 4-6 weeks postpartum. However, some women may experience fatigue or vaginal dryness, causing them to delay sex after c-section all the more.

That said, every woman’s body is different, and while some may need a little more time to resume intimate activities, others may require a shorter period.

The main idea is to listen to your body and your healthcare provider’s advice before resuming sex after childbirth. Read on to know more about the right time to have sex after c-section, precautionary tips to follow, and safe sex positions to try.

When Is The Right Time To Have Sex After C-Section?

Sex After C-Section

It is advised to wait until your six-week postpartum check-up before resuming sexual activities / Image credit: Freepik

Healthcare providers usually recommend avoiding sexual intercourse until you have undergone your six-week postpartum check-up. This is because rushing into intense activities, including sex before 4-6 weeks postpartum could give rise to certain complications like bleeding or infection.

You will also have to consider the following factors before resuming intercourse after c-section delivery.

  • The healing rate of your c-section scar
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Your emotional and mental state and well-being
  • Overall physical condition
  • Mode of birth control

Some people also have misconceptions about sex after c-section and are under the impression that it is possible to have sex soon after c-section delivery as it does not cause any kind of vaginal trauma. 

But here’s the thing, it may take at least six weeks for your cervix to close and your uterus to shrink back to its normal size, and that’s why you will have to wait until your six-week postpartum checkup to know whether it’s safe for you to resume sex.

Additionally, some women may have to wait for more than six weeks to resume sexual intercourse after c-section due to the following factors:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • If the c-section incision hasn’t healed completely
  • If you underwent cesaerean hysterectomy due to medical reasons
  • Low sexual drive

Once all these issues are resolved and you get a go-ahead from your doctor, you can resume having sex after childbirth.

What Are The Possible Causes Of Painful Sex After C-Section?

The exact cause of painful sex after a c-section is unknown. The American Family Physician revealed that in a particular study, more than 25% of women who underwent a c-section reported having pain during sex. 

The same study concluded that it took around five months for this issue to resolve, and some women experienced tenderness in their vagina for up to one year after childbirth. Nevertheless, doctors recognise the following factors as the main contributors to painful sex after c-section.

  • Low oestrogen levels: Your hormones fluctuate a lot during the postpartum period. Moreover, breastfeeding can lower oestrogen levels in your body, further resulting in vaginal dryness and low libido.
  • Weak pelvic floor muscles: After childbirth, your pelvic floor muscles may weaken due to all the pressure of labour. This may also cause pain or discomfort while having sex.

You should consult an OB-GYN if you continue to experience pain during sex several months after childbirth. Your doctor may examine your overall health and prescribe an oestrogen cream to reduce vaginal, delivery. They may also consider physical therapy to strengthen your lower body and pelvic floor muscles. 

Are There Any Risks Associated With Sex After C-Section?

Sex After C-Section

Having sex before recovery can increase the risk of bleeding or infection / Image credit: Freepik

There could be an increased risk of bleeding or infection in case you resume sex before your c-section incision has completely healed. To prevent infections, it is safe to have sex only after your incisions have healed as it prevents the risk of strain in the incision due to pelvic floor muscle contractions during orgasm.

Safe Positions To Try During Sex After C-Section

While there are no sex positions off-limits after a c-section delivery, some women may experience discomfort or irritation in their incisions due to certain positions like the missionary positions. 

This is more commonly experienced by women who have had more than one c-section delivery. You can try side-lying or women-on-top positions to ensure comfort during sex after a c-section. However, as every woman’s experience with childbirth is different, you may experience different positions to find a comfortable one.

Safety Tips To Follow While Having Sex After C-Section

We have discussed some safety tips that can help make sex enjoyable after a c-section delivery.

  • Try Kegel exercises after delivery to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and reduce discomfort while having sex. 
  • Use prescribed oestrogen-based creams or water-based lubricants if you have vaginal dryness.
  • Experiment with different sex positions to prevent strain in your incision scar.
  • Talk to your partner if something makes you uncomfortable.
  • Apply ice or a cold compress over your vagina if you experience pain or a burning sensation after sex.

Conclusion

Resuming sex after c-section delivery may not be possible before your six-week postpartum check-up. Even after the check-up, your doctor will consider various factors, such as healing of your scar, abdominal pain, or vaginal bleeding, before giving a go-ahead on resuming sex. 

Once you are ready to resume sex after c-section, you may consider using lubricants and trying comfortable positions to prevent any kind of pain or discomfort to your incision and make the activity more enjoyable both for you and your partner.

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Also Read:

Postpartum massage: Learn all the benefits of postpartum massage and the right time to start one.

First period after c-section: When will you get your first period after c-section? Tap this post to know.

Postpartum urinary incontinence: Here’s everything you need to know about postpartum urinary incontinence and tips to deal with it.

Cover Image Credit: Freepik.com

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