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When can I have sex again after giving birth?

Posted by Be Well

When can I have sex again after giving birth?
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After you have had a baby, you can have sex again as soon as you, and your partner, feel ready.

Physical and emotional changes

It's very common to feel nervous, or anxious, about restarting your sex life. There are many physical and emotional changes following childbirth. The demands of a newborn baby may mean that sex becomes much lower on your list of priorities, or you may feel too tired to contemplate it.This is all normal, and it's important to take things slowly, and not to have sex until you feel ready.

Remember that you don't always have to have sex to be intimate; just holding each other can help you feel close.

Making things easier

You may feel slightly sore after having sex for the fist time after giving birth. Again, this is quite normal. Using a water-based lubricant during sex may help. If you're using a condom, you should avoid oil-based lubricants, such as baby oil because they can damage a condom and make it more likely to split. If you find that sexual intercourse is very painful, perhaps at the site of your stitches, or near the cervix (neck of the womb), you should discuss this with your doctor, as treatment is available.

Many women have excess vaginal discharge for several weeks after giving birth, which may also affect your desire to have sex. This is nothing to worry about, but you should see your doctor if the discharge is smelly, or makes you feel itchy, or sore.

If you can, it's a good idea to have tried having sex at some point before your postnatal check up (usually at six weeks after the birth), so that you can take the opportunity to discuss any difficulties with your doctor.

Dealing with loss

If you have experienced the loss of your baby during pregnancy, or birth, having sex again can involve a number of conflicting emotions. You or your partner may be concerned about the possibility of another pregnancy resulting in a similar situation, or you may feel that you need time to regain trust in your body.

Alternatively, you may feel the need for the emotional closeness that sex brings. Remember to talk with your partner about how you're both feeling, and seek bereavement support if you feel that it's appropriate for you. Again, take things slowly until you are both ready to move forward.

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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