Having a baby is a life-changing moment. With all the exhaustion and long sleepless nights, sex might be the very last thing in their minds. Eventually, we’ll all heal and naturally, we’ll get back to it. In this article, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about having sex after childbirth.
Every woman has different experiences when giving birth. Some take the long labor hours, enduring the pain in the process, and finally, the happiness you feel upon holding your baby for the first time. However, getting back to the same body shape, weight and enthusiasm we had before pregnancy is a big challenge. After giving birth, women tend to feel self-conscious of their bodies, so there’s no wonder why there are reservations when it comes to resuming that passionate, romantic spark even months after giving birth.
With your sore breasts and inability to shower because the baby is attached to you almost 24 hours a day, it’s so difficult to feel “sexy” again. It’s still possible, though, so don’t give up.
How does delivery affecting sex after childbirth
After childbirth, women will experience hormone change (estrogen and progesterone hormone decrease after birth). There are changes in your body that will make you feel unlikely to have sex after childbirth. In this study, 89% of women resumed their sex life only after 6 months of giving birth. More than 80% of women are experiencing sexual problems if they have sex too early, like after 3 months of childbirth. Here are some of the sexual problems they encounter:
- Vaginal dryness
- Penetration pain
- Pain during sex
- Bleeding after sex
- Loss of sexual desire
- Loose muscle
- Perineal tear
From this study, you will learn that it is best to give your body at least 6 months to heal. You will return to your normal sex life eventually after that.
FAQs about Sex After Childbirth
No. 1: How soon can I have sex after giving birth?
Well, it all depends on you and your partner.
The most important thing you might ask yourself is, “are you ready to have sex?” There’s no required waiting period before you can have sex again. However, some doctors recommend waiting for at least four to six weeks after delivery, regardless of the delivery method. According to them, the risk of having a complication after delivery is highest during the first two weeks, and waiting will give your body time to heal. Even if you’re ready and fit to have sex, sometimes the anxiety, exhaustion of feeding the baby every few hours will not contribute to a good mood to have sex.
No. 2: Will it hurt to have sex after giving birth?
Most men are happy to be sexual again. However, the most common concern for both partners is “will it hurt?”. Hormonal changes will make your vagina dry and tender, especially if you’re breastfeeding. You might experience some pain during sex. Taking a pain reliever can help, but if it continues to be painful, it is important to consult your doctor.
If you’re having a strange feeling during sex, it’s more likely because your pelvic floor muscle was stretched out or injured which was the result of going into labor and delivering the baby. You can tone it back by doing Kegel exercises.
The Kegel exercise helps with strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, which involves repetitions of both sustained and rapid voluntary contractions of the muscles. It can also help treat urinary incontinence and improve sexual function.
Here’s how to do Kegel exercises
- Make sure your bladder is empty, then sit or lie down
- Tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Hold tight and count 3 to 5 seconds
- Relax the muscle and count 3 to 5 seconds
- Repeat ten times, three times a day (morning and afternoon)
No. 3: I just gave birth, so I don’t want to get pregnant again anytime soon. Help!
Now, if you feel ready to get back on the saddle but don’t want to be pregnant again, you will need a reliable birth control method. If you are in the first six weeks after childbirth, breastfeeding, and not yet having your monthly period, breastfeeding might give you 98 percent protection from pregnancy. However, research suggests the effectiveness of breastfeeding as a contraceptive may vary.
Your doctor may suggest waiting for at least 18 to 24 months before attempting your next pregnancy. This is because it helps reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and other health problems.
You can consult your doctor for reliable contraceptives immediately after delivery. There are some options you can choose from taking birth control pills or undergoing a contraceptive implant like IUD. For healthy women, it’s okay to use combined birth control pills and other types of hormonal birth control one month after childbirth. Talk to your doctor to learn more about birth control options.
No. 4: What If I’m Not In the Mood to Have Sex at All?
Remember that you may not have much time or energy for romance, but having a quick caress, a sweet kiss or a flirty smile can help to return the excitement. Spend more time together without the baby. Hire a nanny while you go on a date. Even it’s just a few minutes in the morning when the baby goes to sleep, find ways to express more affection.
If you are still struggling, look for some signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, like mood swings, loss of appetite, feeling more tired, and feeling unhappy. If you think you’re having or feeling these symptoms talk to your doctor.
Taking good care of yourself can go a long way toward keeping the passion alive. Take your time and that enthusiasm will all go back naturally.
How to regain healthy sex life after childbirth
Both of you and your partner will have to agree on this. In order to return to your normal healthy sex life, this is what you can do:
- Your partner must understand your situation and take “sex” slowly. It will take times for your body to recover and I am sure your partner will not want to hurt you further.
2. You can practice Kegel exercise to help with your pelvic loosen muscle.
3. Use of lubricant will help to reduce pain during sex.
4. Make time for intimate moments. When a baby is around 24hours a day, you will hardly find free time for you and your partner. Work this out together, with your partner, like sending your parents or parents-in-law to look after your baby for an hour or two, to spend some good time together.
Having a baby is not supposed to affect your relationship with your partner. Having a baby not only brings joy to the family but he shall form a bridge to connect both his parents, to form a place called home. Remember, that you and your partner are the foundation of a happy family.