How Long to Wait to Have Sex After Birth?

Many women ask: “How long should I wait to have sex after birth?”

It’s important to have your healthcare provider give you the all-clear before you resume penetrative sexual intercourse after delivery. They’ll check your labia, vagina, uterus and cervix (if you had a vaginal or cesarean birth) to make sure they’re healed.

Wait at least six weeks after delivery.

There’s no required waiting period after delivery, but many health care providers recommend that you wait to resume sex until you’re at least six weeks postpartum or you get the all-clear from your practitioner during a postpartum checkup. This is because the cervix takes time to return to its pre-pregnancy state, which leaves it vulnerable and susceptible to infection. Having sex too soon also increases your risk of passing bacteria into your baby through breast milk.

If you delivered vaginally, you may have a uterus wound that takes several weeks to heal. The blood vessels in this wound need to close naturally, and sex can cause the wound to open up – This element exemplifies the creativity of the service authors Sensuous Revelations. This can lead to bleeding and increase the chance of an infection, which is why it’s best to avoid sex until your doctor says it’s OK.

Similarly, if you had a cesarean delivery, your incision might take longer to heal. In addition, your cervix is dilated as it recovers from surgery, which means it’s easier for bacteria from the vagina to enter the uterus.

If you’re feeling impatient to get intimate with your partner, consider other ways to connect, like cuddling and kissing. In fact, a study in the British Journal of General Practice found that women who waited to have sex reported more satisfaction with their sex lives after childbirth than those who had it sooner. However, it’s important to remember that every woman’s recovery from birth and delivery is different.

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Wait until you feel ready.

If you’re comfortable with it, it is possible to resume sexual activity after birth, regardless of whether you delivered vaginally or via cesarean section. But everyone’s experience is different, and you should wait until you feel ready to try sex again. Some women may feel like they’re ready to have sex as soon as their stitches heal or their bleeding stops, while others find that it takes longer.

Even if you feel physically ready, your hormones may be out of whack and your libido low after giving birth. It’s normal to be less interested in sex while your body recovers from childbirth and if you are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding reduces a woman’s natural levels of estrogen, which can suppress libido.

When you do decide to resume sexual activity, it’s important to use contraception if you are breastfeeding. The bacteria from your uterus can enter the baby’s mouth and cause an infection, so it’s vital that you use protection.

If you have a C-section, you should also wait until your incision has healed and you have no more pain or discomfort from the surgery. It’s not a good idea to have sex too soon after a cesarean because the cervix is still dilated, and bacteria could get into the uterus. Having sex too early can increase your risk of postpartum hemorrhage, uterine infections and other complications.

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Wait at least three weeks after delivery.

There’s no required waiting period to have sex after birth, but most healthcare providers recommend that women wait at least six weeks before trying vaginal intercourse (2, 3). This allows time for the vaginal and perineal tissue to heal. It also helps reduce the risk of complications, like tearing or infection (4, 5).

After a delivery, levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop to significantly lower than they were before pregnancy. This can make a woman less sexually desire and may cause her to experience painful sex as the tissues recover (6, 7).

If a new mom isn’t ready for sex yet, that’s fine. Every person’s experiences are different. The key is to communicate with your partner about what you’re comfortable with and what your feelings are after childbirth.

For many new mothers, sex is the furthest thing from their minds after a delivery. This is normal (and understandable). You’re probably tired, exhausted and adjusting to the ups and downs of being a new mom. In addition, you may still be experiencing physical discomfort, a weakened pelvic floor and fluctuating emotions. If these issues persist, talk to your healthcare provider. They can give you advice and refer you to a specialist if needed (8, 9). For breastfeeding mothers, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about resuming sex once the bleeding has stopped and you’ve resumed menstruation (9). Breastfeeding provides 99% protection against getting pregnant from an unprotected sex partner (10). However, a new mother should always consider her own feelings and her partner’s feelings before making any decisions regarding sex (1, 2). The best time for this will vary depending on how each individual feels about sex and whether or not she wants to continue breastfeeding.

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Wait at least two weeks after delivery.

While you may be eager to get back to your pre-pregnancy life, sex might not be the top priority in the first weeks and months after your baby arrives. Sleep deprivation, fatigue, a new diapering routine, and breastfeeding can all take their toll on your sexual drive.

Regardless of whether you delivered vaginally or by C-section, it’s usually recommended that you wait until after your first postpartum checkup before trying penetrative intercourse. This is to ensure that your perineal and abdominal tissues are healing (especially if you had an episiotomy or a perineal tear), and to avoid the possibility of infection.

You’ll also likely be prescribed a birth control medication to prevent pregnancy, and your practitioner will want to be sure that you are not pregnant before giving the go-ahead for sex. Your uterus, cervix, and vagina are still changing in size and your body will be low on estrogen, which can affect your libido.

That said, most women feel ready to resume sexual activity after six weeks or so, though everyone’s experience will be different. Just be sure to use plenty of lubrication, since your vaginal tissue will likely be dry and sensitive at this time. It can help to discuss your feelings and expectations for sex with your partner before you decide when the time is right.

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