Is It Normal to Have Sex After Normal Delivery?

It’s normal to feel fatigued and overwhelmed after your baby’s birth. You might not feel like sexual activity at all. It’s also normal if penetrative sex hurts after delivery. This is due to low levels of estrogen that affect tissue elasticity.

You should wait until you get clearance from your practitioner to start sex. You will usually have your first postpartum appointment around three weeks after delivery.

1. Two to six weeks after delivery

It takes time for a woman’s body to recover from labor and delivery. It is not a good idea to have sex before the uterus has healed completely. A doctor may recommend that women do Kegel exercises to help restore cervical strength before trying sex. This will reduce the risk of accidental pregnancy. Women can also use a combination birth control method that includes estrogen and progesterone to prevent pregnancy.

Many new mothers feel low libido for several weeks after delivery. This is due to increased fatigue, lack of sleep and decreased hormone levels. In addition, most women are caring for a newborn and have to balance work and family life. It is important to communicate with your partner about sexual feelings and desires during this time. It is also a good idea to schedule sex on the calendar.

If you had a vaginal birth, sex can be uncomfortable for the first few weeks because of vaginal discharge. This is called lochia and is a normal part of recovery from childbirth. It typically stops within six weeks, but it can last longer. Using a lubricant or oral or mutual masturbation can ease the pain.

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2. Four to six weeks after delivery

It’s completely normal to not feel sexually excited for some time after you deliver a baby. It’s a whole new phase of your life and every woman’s body is different, so you may have to take things slowly if you want to get back to being intimate with your partner.

Even after your doctor says it’s safe to resume sex, you may still feel uncomfortable and not fully satisfied. The hormonal changes from pregnancy and childbirth can cause vaginal dryness, pain during penetration or a change in sensation, which can make it difficult to have sex. Other reasons you may not feel like it include sleep deprivation, leaking urine, feeling too full from breastfeeding and having a low libido.

If you’re having a vaginal delivery, you’ll likely have some bleeding and discharge from the uterus after birth that lasts for about six weeks. This is known as lochia and it helps the uterus heal. You can use a sanitary product and lubrication to help relieve the discomfort.

While it is possible to get pregnant quickly after delivery, you can protect yourself by using backup birth control. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you use birth control for at least three months after giving birth, regardless of your method of delivery. You can talk to your OB/GYN or midwife about the best method for you.

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3. Six to eight weeks after delivery

Whether you gave birth vaginally or by C-section, your body went through a lot. Your breasts might still be leaky and tender, your uterus might be irritated and enlarged by pregnancy, and your cervix may have become dilated. That’s why most doctors recommend waiting until after your postpartum visit and until the bleeding has stopped (and possibly even until your ovulation returns) before engaging in sexual activity. It is possible to get pregnant even when you are breastfeeding and not menstruating, so using backup birth control like condoms is important.

It’s also normal for penetrative sex to feel painful at first after giving birth, even if you’re feeling sexual desire and physically healthy enough. This can have to do with the trauma of delivery, but it could also be due to low levels of estrogen. Regardless, the pain should improve with time.

Ultimately, when you have sex after birth is entirely up to you and your partner. You might be ready for it a few weeks after baby, or you might need more time, and that’s totally fine. Just be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before attempting sexual intercourse and use a good personal lubricant for comfort. And don’t forget that there are plenty of other ways to be close and intimate with your partner without penetration, including kissing, cuddling, masturbation, and massaging.

4. Eight to 12 weeks after delivery

The first few weeks after birth can be intense, especially as you learn to adjust to life with a new baby. Sleep deprivation, increased demands on your body from nursing and other physical activities and a new role as parent can all make sex less of a priority. This is completely normal.

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In the meantime, there are plenty of ways you and your partner can be close and intimate without penetration, including kissing, mutual masturbation and stroking. You can also talk to your GP or health visitor about when it’s safe to start sexual activity again.

Generally, medical professionals recommend waiting until bright red vaginal bleeding has stopped before having any form of sex. Having penetration too early can increase your risk of hemorrhage, uterine infection and postpartum uterus damage (either from an episiotomy or perineal tear) (1). It’s important to discuss contraception with your healthcare provider before and after delivery, as well as at your six-week postpartum visit (1).

It’s also common to find that penetrative sex after pregnancy doesn’t feel as good as it did before you got pregnant. This is because your cervix has undergone a lot of changes and can be tender for awhile (2). This is true whether you gave birth vaginally or by C-section. Having sex too soon can also irritate your cervix, which may cause light bleeding from the irritation (2).

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