Does the idea of having sex after giving birth scare you? Are you worried about how it will feel? Don’t worry, this is a completely normal concern. I’ll assure you that our bodies are made to bounce back from childbirth. Female organs are an amazing thing!
Let’s look at logistics. Giving birth expands your vagina to the size of your baby’s head and shoulders. Some women experience vaginal tearing when giving birth. Where there was once a placenta is now an open wound in your uterus. Your uterus needs time to return to its normal size and your cervix will close again gradually. This is why doctors suggest waiting up to 6 weeks for intercourse.
WHAT HAPPENS AT MY 6 WEEK CHECKUP?
Your care provider should ask you questions to determine your emotional and physical state. Are you still bleeding? Do you have pain? Do you have itchiness? Do you notice an odd odor? Upon your consent, you may have a pelvic exam for visual confirmation of healing. Your doctor will likely confirm that it is safe for you to have sex. Now go get some!
Many doctors will start a conversation with you about birth control. You may also want to explore the options of breastfeeding for birth control and Fertility Awareness Method. (Warning: Fertility Awareness Method may cause extreme amazement of the female body!)
You doctor should also be asking you questions to determine whether or not you are experiencing a postnatal mood disorder.
WHEN CAN I HAVE SEX AGAIN?
The general recommendation is to wait about six weeks. Many women feel more confident after their six-week check up, once their doctor has given them the go ahead. When considering the factors listed above, it makes perfect sense to allow your body this time to heal. Some women feel confident getting their groove on sooner than this – and some women need much longer than six weeks. Follow your intuition. If it doesn’t go well, don’t force it. Penetration is not the only option to satisfy your desire. Get creative and have fun exploring new (or old) ways to get groovy with your lover. Who doesn’t love a good tease?
DOES SEX HURT AFTER CHILDBIRTH?
Our bodies ARE capable of healing after childbirth. Some women jump right back into the sack without missing a beat. Some women need to slowly reincorporate sex into their lives, perhaps feeling slight discomfort at first that gradually becomes more and more pleasurable.
If pain with sex does not diminish over time, you may need to consider Pelvic Physical Therapy to help your pelvic floor return to a state of sexual readiness. Call your local pelvic physiotherapist and ask if they have experience with this type of therapy. Your spirit will be thankful that you did.
HOW DOES BREASTFEEDING AFFECT SEX?
After being so close to another human being all day long, some breastfeeding mothers feel “touched out” and have no desire to be intimate. This is a normal experience – one that demands a patient and supportive partner who does not pressure you for sex. However, you may need to be very intentional about setting aside time to connect physically. Parenting is hard work and sometimes sex is hard work too.
I’ll tell you a little known fact that many women will never admit! Breastfeeding can ignite feelings of passion for your partner. And guess what – THAT’S NORMAL! Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which is a lovemaking hormone.
WHAT IF MY VAGINA IS EXTRA DRY?
If you are experiencing extreme dryness or itchiness, that could mean that your hormones have not yet found their post-pregnancy balance. A common suggestion for this is to apply olive oil or coconut oil. Some women have great experiences with hormone support using Young Living’s Progessence Plus Serum. It’s always a good idea to check in with your primary physician first.
Did you find this helpful? Comment below if you are feeling brave enough to share your post birth sex experience.