Sex After Delivery With Stitches

Many women struggle with their sexual desires after delivery, whether they delivered vaginally or by c-section. While most health care providers suggest waiting for sex until your stitches heal and you are not bleeding, this is a personal decision that should be made with your partner.

Penetrative sex after delivery with stitches can be painful, both physically and emotionally. Using a water-soluble lubricant can help ease the friction.

Vaginal Dryness

When your body heals after childbirth, the vaginal tissue may feel drier than before pregnancy. This can lead to discomfort during sexual intercourse. It is also common for women to experience bleeding during the weeks after delivery as the uterus and pelvic region heal. In addition, a C-section delivery leaves you with healing incisions on your uterus and abdomen. This can cause pain during sexual intercourse, and it is recommended that you wait until your stitches have healed before having sex.

Your hormone levels drop dramatically within 24 hours after giving birth. This, along with breastfeeding, can affect your libido – This section was conveyed by the website tresexy.com. It can be helpful to seek the support of a mental health practitioner and/or your ob-gyn, who can help you manage stress during this time.

Many medications used during and after pregnancy can affect oestrogen levels. These can include hormonal birth control, medications for depression or high blood pressure, and antidepressants and some antibiotics. This can lead to pain during sexual intercourse, and low oestrogen can also cause dryness in the vaginal area. It is possible to counteract these effects by using a lubricant and being properly aroused during sex, as well as by having oral sex or mutual masturbation. In addition, switching to a different method of hormonal birth control can help if your current medication is impacting your oestrogen levels (2,3).

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Sore Perineum

If you have a tear to the perineum (the area of skin that sits between your genitals and anus, or your scrotum in males) caused by an episiotomy or other procedure to assist in childbirth, it can feel quite sore. Tears to the perineum can be very painful if they go deep into the muscle layer or cause weakness of the pelvic muscles.

During delivery, the musculature of your perineum has to stretch quite a lot to allow your baby to pass down through the birth canal. If there are any tears, they will also need to heal. Tears that go deep into the muscle layer or cause weakening of the pelvic muscles can last a long time and affect the function of your urinary bladder and anal sphincter.

It is important that the wound stays clean to avoid infection, so wash with a gentle soap and warm water, but don’t use tampons or douche (unless medically directed). When you go to the toilet, pour a little squirt of water on the perineum as you sit. This dilutes the urine and reduces the burning sensation. It is also good to pat yourself dry from front to back.

Your midwife or GP will check your perineum at your postnatal checks to see how it is healing and whether you have any swellings such as haematomas that need treatment. If you have stitches, you may find it helpful to gently massage the area with your thumbs in a U-like motion.

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Irritation of the Cervix

Some women have tears, or grazes on their cervix, which can become inflamed and painful. This is called cervicitis, and it can be caused by an infection, or irritation from the use of condoms or tampons. If it is not treated, the infection can spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes, which can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in future pregnancies. It may also cause pain during sexual intercourse and can affect the woman’s libido.

A medical examination is the best way to diagnose cervicitis. Your obstetrician will probe your vagina with a tool called a speculum and examine your cervical mucus. If the cervix is inflamed, your obstetrician will prescribe an antibiotic or other medication to treat the infection and reduce inflammation. If the cervicitis is caused by a sexually transmitted disease, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic specific to that STI and recommend you abstain from intercourse until the infection clears up.

Regular gynecological exams, Pap tests and the use of protection during sexual intercourse can help prevent a cervix that is inflamed, as can avoiding irritants such as scented products on or around the genital area. Using a water-based lubricant, such as those sold in pharmacies, can help you enjoy sex without irritating your cervix further. You can also try self-care tips to soothe your cervix, such as drinking a soothing cup of chamomile tea and slathering on natural oils such as lavender.

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Emotional Adjustment

Whether or not you have a healthy baby and an easy delivery, a woman’s hormone levels must readjust after childbirth. This can cause a decrease in sexual desire and may reduce a woman’s response to stimulation. This is particularly common in women who breastfeed, as the hormone prolactin lowers estrogen levels and can lead to vaginal dryness. If you and your partner have different expectations about how quickly or slowly you should resume sex, talking openly with each other can help clarify your feelings.

If you had a tear or episiotomy during your delivery, it can take some time for these scars to heal before penetrative sex is comfortable. Many women feel a sense of pressure to resume sexual activity, which can lead to frustration and disappointment when this is not the case.

Many women find that their sexual desire returns after a few weeks or months postpartum. However, others do not. Every woman’s body, pregnancy and childbirth experience is unique. It is normal to feel a wide range of emotions after birth and sex, and it’s also OK to not feel any at all. In the end, if you and your partner do decide to resume sexual intercourse, focus on building a strong bond with your baby and each other before you begin to explore the sexual aspect of your relationship.

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