Published on: Babycentre.co.uk
When is it safe to have sex after giving birth?
You should wait until any bleeding after the birth (lochia) has stopped, which should be by about three weeks after your baby's birth. This is because the wound left in your uterus (womb) by the placenta coming out is still healing. If you have sex before the bleeding has stopped, you may get an infection.
When will I feel like having sex after the birth?
Everyone is different. There's no norm, or set time, when you should aim to have sex by. The most important thing is to wait until you are physically and emotionally ready.
A small number of couples start having sex within the first month after the birth, but about half wait until at least six weeks, as do most women who have had a tear or episiotomy. By three months, most couples have tried sex again, though some couples prefer to wait until after six months.
If you both feel ready to have sex before your postnatal check at about six weeks after the birth, you can go ahead if you want to. Some health professionals suggest trying sex with your partner before your postnatal check, if you both feel ready, so they can address any problems at your appointment.
You'll need to consider contraception when you do start to have sex again. Even if you are still breastfeeding and your periods haven't returned, you may still get pregnant again.
If you're not yet ready to have sex, continue with kissing and touching and being physically close to each other. Try to do this, even if it seems a lot of effort when you're tired and preoccupied with your new baby. Returning to sex will then feel less daunting and more like a natural progression.
Why don't I feel like having sex after the birth?
It's very common not to feel like having sex in the first few weeks or months after having a baby. For a start, you're probably feeling exhausted due to lack of sleep, not to mention overwhelmed by the demands of being a mum. If you are breastfeeding, the hormone prolactin can reduce your desire to have sex, too.
Feeling low, or suffering from postnatal depression, will make you feel less like having sex. Talk to your GP, midwife or health visitor if you think this is a problem for you.
You may also be feeling sore from a tear, episiotomy or stitches. If you had a tear, or if your baby was born with instruments, it may take you a little longer to feel like having sex again. This is perfectly normal, and you should give yourself time to recover. If you had a caesarean, you will still be recovering from a major operation.
The soreness may go away relatively quickly, though the pain of stitches or a severe tear may take a while longer to heal. Stitches may be painful for a few days or weeks. Let the wound heal, and any stitches dissolve, before you have sex again.
Even if you haven't had an episiotomy or a tear, the perineal area can feel bruised and sensitive for some time.
If you had a caesarean, the scar should have healed by the time your stitches come out. If it still feels sensitive, you and your partner could try to find positions that don't put pressure on the scar. Starting with foreplay will help to reduce any fear you may have of your scar being painful.
If you are anxious, your tummy will tense around your scar, and this will feel uncomfortable. You could place a small, soft cushion between your tummy and your partner. This may relax you and help to protect your sensitive scar. Or you could position yourself on top, while gently cradling your tummy. This will help to prevent the movements from making your scar uncomfortable.
Your perception of your own body may have changed. You may feel that your body is so changed by pregnancy and birth that you need time for it to recover before you feel like yourself again. You may feel proud of the changes that pregnancy has made to your body, or find it hard to deal with these changes. All of these feelings are understandable and normal.
Many women worry that their partner won't find them attractive any more, but when they explain their concerns, realise that this is far from being the case.
Sourcing articles from across the web and placing them in one location for you.