Recommencing your sex life after having a baby often takes the last position in your priority list. Most of the time you don’t feel ready even after so many months- it can be due to your changed new schedule, broken sleep, too much extra work or may be due to fear that postpartum sex will be painful. Don’t worry and don’t even feel compelled to start it –here we are describing ways which can help you to get back to your healthy sex life while being confident and comfortable.
What Should I Expect Out Of Sex After Delivery?
Beginning your sex life again after the birth of a child can be an edgy matter for new mommy. True that you can start your sex life after six weeks but getting a medical go doesn’t mean that you will also want to have sex. Chances are that probably you will be too tired to even think about it. Below are few points which can prepare you about common sex-after pregnancy related problems:
- Vaginal dryness: After childbirth your body release all the built up hormones due to which your vagina gets dry and takes a lot of time to get wet especially if you are not “in the mood” of “doing it”. So if your vagina doesn’t get wet enough, there will always be some friction that can cause pain. Use some lubricant to ease the discomfort
- Sex will be painful It can be possible that you will feel pain during intercourse while doing it first few times or may be for months after delivery. So try to take it on slow pace without just rushing into it. Choose a time when you don’t have to speed things up. Take out some time for fore play so that you can get into that mood. Once you are ready try some varieties of sex positions and choose one which gives you a better control upon penetration. You can also use some lubricant to ease the vaginal dryness
- Feeling of lack of privacy Presence of your little one in your bedroom can also affect your libido, often parents feel self-conscious by their baby’s presence. But there is no need to feel uncomfortable as he won’t care what you are doing. You can try putting him in a crib when he is sleeping so that your physical activities won’t disturb him
- You may feel new changes in your body After childbirth your vagina may feel a little stretched out and your body might feel a little different in shape and size. But don’t worry most of these changes are temporary and very soon your partner and you will get accustomed to it. Different changes in your body don’t necessarily mean that they are bad- they are just new!
- Varied Sexual Response It can be possible that your sexual response has changed than what it was pre-baby. It can be due to low libido caused by sheer exhaustion due to baby but don’t worry it’s completely normal. Take your time and do talk to your partner about it
How Long Will Bleeding Last After Child Birth?
Whether you have gone through a vaginal delivery or a C- section you will experience vaginal bleeding in both the cases for at least three to four weeks after giving birth. This is the time which your uterus is taking to heal itself, this period allows tissues to heal and prevents any further infection to develop. Usually the bleeding stops after three weeks but in some cases it may take longer time depending upon your recovery. Bleeding may continue for a longer period of you have had a complicated delivery that might have involved an episiotomy or a sudden C-section.
After Child Birth, How Soon Can We Have Sex?
Generally it’s advisable to wait for at least four to six weeks before reassuming your sex life again. In most of the vaginal delivery cases especially for the first time mothers, sex may not be comfortable at all. Women who have experienced a torn tissue or episiotomy, wounds may leave them too sore even to sit comfortably hence contemplating sex might take a back seat. Usually these stitches dissolve within 10-15 days and soreness too starts to reduce but your vagina might be still dry which can add another discomfort to the sex pleasures. So it’s better to visit your doctor for proper medical checkup who can check your healed tissue. Before beginning your sex life it’s advisable to be completely back on your feet with no bleeding. Jumping too soon into sex can often leave you with injury to lacerations that are still not healed properly. Starting sex too soon can also be a cause of infection. Most importantly before starting your sex life again – do converse with your doctor about birth control options and start following them.
Once you are medically fit and psychologically ready you can again start your sex life whenever you are “in the mood” but even after six months if you don’t feel like going for it then just wait a litter longer. Set your own timeline and take your own sweet time.
How To Deal With Painful Sex After Childbirth?
Vaginal dryness due to hormonal changes after childbirth can make your vagina a little tender and this might be a reason of pain during sex. Another reason which can contribute towards painful sex is the fact that you may have not healed properly from episiotomy or any other perineal tear. Read about episiotomy and perineal stitches here and here.
To ease pain and uneasiness during sex here are some tips –
- Warm up: Foreplay is important so, if in case your partner is in hurry ask for it. Start with snuggling or gentle kissing and then gradually move towards the main event. The more effort you and your partner will put in initial stage of warming up, the better will be the final stage for both of you
- Right Position: Attempt different positions and then select one which puts very less pressure on your stiches and sore areas. Preferably go for the positions which can give you control over penetration, so that you can take charge and choose your own pace
- Lubricate: If you think your vagina is too dry then use some external water based lubricants or jellys. They can ease the pain by making a slippery way for penetration
- Share it up: Share what you are feeling. No one knows better than you that what feels good or what hurts, so help your partner with proper and clear information. Don’t feel shy, if necessary go for a glass of wine – it may loosen you up
- Kegels: Try some exercises of vagina to restore its strength and do them as frequently as you can. They can help you a lot. Read more about Kegels here
Even after trying all these options if sex continues to be painful then do consult your doctor about possible treatment options.
I Had A C-section Delivery. How Soon Can I Have Sex?
Typically you can have sex after six weeks even if you have given birth by C-section but the chances are that you will feel more pain during intercourse as compared to vaginal birth. Most women believe that they can resume their sex activities soon after bleeding has ceased as they did not gave birth by vagina. However, this is not true. In reality, c- section makes you more susceptible towards various infections and there is a bigger risk of surgical scarring around your uterus. With a C-section, it’s important to wait for at least six weeks so that stitches can be healed and repaired properly.
It’s important to have medical checkup in case of C-section before you start you sex life again so that your doctor can check the healing process of your stitches. It’s always advisable to take green light from the doctor so that you can avoid any complications associated with it. There are many researches which indicate that most women who gave birth via cesarean can experience pain during sexual intercourse even after one year. So if in case you are still feeling some pain during intercourse then don’t worry it will take time but will definitely go away. To ease pain you can try some lubricants for your dry vagina and better sex positions which can put less pressure on your incision.
Does Breastfeeding Affect My Desire For Sex?
Yes, it does. After delivery, the body drops the levels of estrogen and your libido levels will come down. Prolactin, the nursing hormone also dampens the desire to have sex by dampening the libido. This may continue till you breastfeed, though it will lessen as nursing sessions decrease. Many women also feel that they do not like to be touched or sucked on the breasts, so do tell your partner about your feelings. Sometimes, the breasts may leak, which happens due to hormones that get activated by having an orgasm. To avoid this, you can pump milk or feed baby before having sex so that your breasts are less heavy and empty.
Just remember having sex after childbirth can be a totally different experience as compared to your pre-baby period. During this time it’s important to keep your feelings at priority. Don’t feel under pressure from your partner and don’t compare yourself to other mums – your case and their experience might be different. Instead try to share your position with your spouse and describe him all the big ups and downs that pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for a new baby bring about.