Sex after the birth of your baby

When can we resume sexual intercourse again after the birth?

This varies widely and is very much a personal choice, depending on how you and your partner are feeling after your baby is born.

iStock_000009730902XSmall-(1).jpgMany women do not consider this early on after the birth as there are so many other things going on. Being tired due to the demands of looking after the baby and altered sleep patterns mean that there may be little desire for sexual intercourse.

If you had stitches during your labour, or a caesarean section, you will want to wait until your stiches are healed and you are no longer tender over them.

The time when people resume sexual intercourse again varies from days to weeks, to months, depending on the above and other factors. There is no ‘normal’ or recommended time to start again, but you may want to consider the following factors in influencing your decision of when you are ready again.

• How tired you feel

• How your partner feels about starting again

• Physically how you feel eg if you have any soreness you need to wait for it to settle before you attempt making love again, or seek advice if it has not settled within a few weeks. If you have had stitches see the article “Should my stitches feel uncomfortable after the birth or during intercourse?”

• You may need to use some lubricant when you do start again, as often the first few times after the birth, you may be anxious about how it will feel, so your natural lubrication doesn’t always occur as easily as normal

• If you are breastfeeding, this can also mean that you are ‘dryer’, as the hormonal changes mean you don’t produce your normal lubrication as easily. You may need to use some lubrication gel

• Consider the needs of your partner too. Although you are experiencing a lot of changes to your body and routine, it is important to protect and nurture your relationship also, and spend time together. You may prefer just close contact initially leading up to sexual intercourse over time when you feel more ready

• Some women also feel ‘touched out’ due to their baby needing a lot of close contact and attention.
All of these and many other factors will influence when you are ready to try intercourse again.
A few exploratory sessions are recommended, “to test the waters” before intercourse, so that your partner is aware of any areas that may be a little tender although not painful. It is not uncommon to feel an achy or tender feeling over the suture line after intercourse if you did have stitches. This should fade and become less the more times you try intercourse, but should not continue long term. You may also want to experiment with different positions, as you may find some positions more comfortable than others for a while.

Remember if you experience pain or discomfort when you try, this is not normal. Seek further advice from your Midwife, Doctor or a Physiotherapist working in the area of Women’s Health.  They will be able to assist you so that this does not continue to be a problem long term.

Disclaimer: This article provides general advice only. For individual advice on fitness and exercise suitable for your age, current health and fitness level, please consult your medical or  health professional.


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