Sex after childbirth: when can you do it?
The sexual side of life fades into the background already in the last month of pregnancy. The appearance of a baby extends the period of abstinence by at least a month after childbirth due to the fact that:
- At the site of attachment of the placenta, a wound surface remains in the uterine wall.
- A woman has bloody discharge (lochia), ending in a month or a month and a half.
- At this time, there is a high risk of infection entering the uterus through the cervix that did not have time to close.
- During childbirth, mechanical damage to the birth canal occurs. Spontaneous tears or incisions made by an obstetrician-gynecologist are stitched.
It takes 4-6 weeks to contract the uterus to normal size, heal scars, microcracks in the walls of the vagina, and close the cervix.
Regardless of whether there were ruptures during childbirth or not, the walls of the vagina are stretched, muscles lose tone, which require much longer time to recover – up to six months.
If a woman during pregnancy was engaged in intimate muscle training, then her rehabilitation process will take place faster, in about three months.
With a caesarean section, the vaginal walls remain unchanged, but it takes time for the uterus and peritoneum to heal, which was cut during the operation.
When it is possible to have sex after childbirth, each woman decides for herself, since the recovery period depends on the individual characteristics of the structure of muscle tissue, the complexity of childbirth. With surgical interventions, the healing period lasts 1.5–3 months.
If you decide that you are ready for sexual intercourse, go for a consultation with a gynecologist. After the examination, receiving the smear results, the doctor will give advice on resuming sexual relations.
The main problems accompanying sex after childbirth
It is not always possible to restore a regular, full-fledged intimate life as quickly as the partner would like. The restructuring of the hormonal system, aimed at tying the mother to the child, obtaining a new status, anxiety for the baby pushes sex into the background. A woman needs rest, recovery from stress.
After childbirth, changes occur in the female body, which are not conducive to sexual activity.
Female libido decreases against the background of the synthesis of oxytocin, or “the hormone of tenderness and affection,” which promotes lactation, makes the mother feel deeply attached to the baby.
On the other hand, estrogen levels decrease, giving rise to insufficient moisture in the vagina during intimacy. Women avoid sexual intercourse so that the partner does not hurt, since the scars from ruptures and cuts have not completely healed.
Discharge and soreness of the abdomen 2-3 months after the birth of the child speaks of an infection brought in through the birth canal, an ongoing inflammatory process.
Another physiological problem due to which a woman postpones the first sex after childbirth is the expansion of the vagina, a decrease in the elasticity of the muscle tissue of its walls. During intercourse, a woman feels discomfort, it is difficult for her to achieve orgasm due to a decrease in the sensitivity of soft tissues.
Responsibility for the child, round-the-clock feeding leads to physical fatigue, rejection of sex. Most of all during this period I want to sleep well.
Physiological problems affect the changes in the psyche and consciousness of a woman, especially a woman who has given birth for the first time. The child and everything connected with it becomes the main value for the mother. Nature took care of this, producing a “hormonal boom” in the body. The woman monitors the slightest ailments, is ready to respond to the first call of the baby. The following mental changes may occur:
- If earlier mom worked, participated in the life of the team, communicated with a large circle of people, then after giving birth her worldview narrowed, focused on feeding, caring for the baby. Having sex with your husband creates feelings of guilt in front of your baby.
- Not every woman is ready to immediately and unconditionally accept herself as a mother. She felt sorry for the carefree life that had passed away, when she could afford entertainment, there was no burden of responsibility for the newborn.
- Anxiety, anxiety for the correctness of actions, for the future is overcome. Self-esteem decreases, if she could not give birth on her own, she underwent a cesarean section.
- Having lost her usual way of life, my mother has high hopes for her husband. If he is not able to satisfy her need for communication, does not help in solving everyday problems, then irritability and alienation arise.
How to start having sex after childbirth?
It is especially scary to have sex for the first time after giving birth. If the doctor found no obvious contraindications to the resumption of sex, then the unpleasant nuances of a physiological and psychological nature can be solved.
Tips for overcoming difficulties:
1. Insufficient moisture in the vagina.
Create favorable conditions so that nothing distracts, the woman can completely relax. To do this, wait until the child falls asleep or send older children or relatives for a walk with him. Longer caress of erogenous zones will bring results.
If the measures taken are not enough, use lubricants. Choose a natural, water-based, dye-free, hormone-free moisturizer. Otherwise, the risk of acquiring bacterial vaginosis is high.
2. Pain syndrome.
Even after 8 weeks, pain remains during sex in the presence of stitches from cuts, tears. The fact is that the seam itself and the adjacent tissues lose their elasticity. With inappropriate positions, their tension occurs, as a result of which the woman experiences discomfort.
Choose an acceptable posture, limit the depth of penetration.
The partner should, through preliminary caresses, achieve complete relaxation of the vaginal muscles, be gentle, sensitive and attentive.
If it does not help, find out the cause of the ailment from your doctor. If necessary, postpone the initiation of sexual activity until full recovery. The reason may be in the onset of inflammation that requires treatment.
3. Stretching of muscles, folds on the walls of the vagina.
Special physical exercises help restore the elasticity and contractility of muscle tissue. At the initial stage, it is recommended to imitate the narrowness of the entrance to the vagina using a ring created by the thumb and forefinger, wrapping around the root of the penis.
In the presence of folds, the reciprocating movements of the penis, deviating from the longitudinal axis, are excluded. Do not be alarmed and do not be ashamed of the characteristic sounds emitted, they will disappear with the restoration of muscle activity.
4. Risk of infection.
Pay more attention to personal hygiene of the genitals. Wash your hands, keep your nails clean. Eliminate coitus for external signs of herpes. Use condoms. Have a sex life with one sexual partner.
5. Lack of energy and time.
Constant fatigue in your free time makes you want to sleep, not pay off your marital debt. There is only one way out. Delegate some of the responsibilities to other family members.
6. Change of appearance.
After childbirth, stretch marks appear, breasts enlarge and become painful. Girlish slenderness disappears. Despite being busy, take time to take care of yourself. Perform a set of exercises for tightening the abdomen, walk in neat, pretty clothes.
Get a manicure, take care of your hair. The easiest way is to tell how unhappy you are, to cry about the loss of your former attractiveness and cooling on the part of your husband. All in your hands. Positive changes in appearance will not go unnoticed. Self-esteem will rise, and with it libido will wake up.
7. Tension in a relationship with a husband.
Break down the wall of misunderstanding and alienation:
Talk to your spouse about what is happening during the day. Share your experiences and concerns.
Involve him in caring for the child, let him feel his need.
Take an interest in the affairs of your partner, support in plans, undertakings. Talk not only about your baby, but also about topics that interest him.
Stay alone more often. On weekends, leave the baby to grandmother, go and have fun. This will relieve tension in relationships, make sex more harmonious.
8. Unstable psycho-emotional states.
When a woman drives herself into a dead end, does not receive support from loved ones, depression or psychosis occurs.
Only a doctor who is asked for help can recognize changes in the psyche and cure these diseases. The husband and the rest of the family must be patient, be benevolent, tactful.
9. Fear of a new pregnancy.
There are a wide variety of contraceptive methods. Visit a gynecologist who will advise on the method that is right for you. The insertion of an intrauterine device is possible from the seventh week after birth. This method has contraindications – fibroids, heavy periods. More suitable for women after cesarean section.
If you decide to use a barrier method of contraception, then condoms are needed at every intercourse, regardless of whether a woman has a dangerous period for conception or not.
Hormonal pills or injections are permissible only with the content of gestagens that do not harm lactation.
Some couples use interrupted intercourse, which prevents semen from entering the vagina. This method is ineffective and does not give a 100% guarantee.
What are the benefits of having sex after childbirth?
Despite all the difficulties, the benefits of sex after childbirth are undeniable. The advantages of restoring intimate life include:
- strengthening of affection, strengthening of spiritual connection with a partner;
- increasing the immune defense of a woman, reducing the risk of colds;
- bringing weight back to normal, restoring forms;
- training the vaginal muscles, restoring their tone;
- acceleration of metabolic reactions;
- rejuvenation of the body;
- normalization of sleep;
- fighting acne and acne;
- reduction of headache, muscle and menstrual pain;
- strengthening the muscular frame and the musculoskeletal system;
- stress relief, relaxation;
- stabilization of the psycho-emotional state;
- improving the functioning of the respiratory system, heart, blood vessels.
The increase in estrogen levels after sex promotes cell repair, the production of collagen and elastin, which makes the skin more elastic and smoothes wrinkles.
When a woman is desired, she no longer doubts her attractiveness, self-esteem rises, fears and self-rejection go away. Sex after the first birth becomes brighter, and some of the fairer sex experience their first orgasm at this time.