conceptual representation of a vagina and sex after giving birth

Sex After Giving Birth: Exactly What To Know

Sex after giving birth is a topic that many new parents may feel hesitant or uncomfortable discussing, but it’s an important aspect of postpartum recovery that should not be ignored. After childbirth, a woman’s body goes through a lot of changes, and it can take time to feel physically and emotionally ready to resume sexual activity. 

Physical changes postpartum 

The healing process is one of the most important physical changes that happen after giving birth. Whether a woman delivers vaginally or through a cesarean section, the body needs time to recover from the trauma of childbirth. It’s common for new mothers to experience soreness, swelling, and even stitches in the vaginal area. Additionally, hormonal changes can lead to dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable or painful. According to a study, 46.3% of women surveyed reported a lack of interest in sexual activity, 43% experienced a lack of vaginal lubrication and 37.5% of included women had dyspareunia 6 months after birth.

It’s essential to give your body time to heal and recover before resuming sexual activity. Doctors typically recommend waiting until after the six-week postpartum check-up before having sex, although this timeline may vary depending on individual circumstances. Additionally, some women may require additional time to feel comfortable and physically ready.

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Sex after giving birth: emotional considerations

Along with changes to their bodies, many new parents feel a wide range of emotions after giving birth. It’s normal to feel tired, overwhelmed, and emotionally drained, which can impact sexual desire and intimacy. Some women may also experience postpartum depression or anxiety, which can further affect their sex drive and overall mental health. In a study of 208 women, there was discovered to be an increase in the prevalence of urinary incontinence and subjective depression in women who underwent vaginal delivery.

It’s crucial to communicate openly and honestly with your partner about your emotional state and needs. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to feel after giving birth, and it’s okay to take things slowly and focus on self-care before engaging in sexual activity.

Finding the right time and place

Finding the right time and place for intimacy with a newborn at home can be challenging. New parents may feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and busy with the demands of caring for a newborn. It’s essential to find ways to prioritize time together and intimacy to strengthen your relationship and reconnect after your child’s birth.

One option is to schedule intimate time, which can help couples stay connected and avoid feeling neglected or disconnected. Additionally, finding ways to incorporate intimacy into daily routines, such as showering together or cuddling before bed, can help maintain a sense of closeness and intimacy even when life feels hectic.

Sex after giving birth can be a complex and emotional topic for new parents. Remember that every woman’s experience is different, and it’s essential to listen to your body and communicate openly with your partner. Focus on taking things slowly, putting self-care and intimacy at the top of your list, and finding ways to stay connected despite all the new responsibilities that come with being a parent. Couples can get back to sex after giving birth if they take their time, are patient, and talk to each other.

Sources: BioMed Central, National Center for Biotechnology Information 

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