Sex after pregnancy. Yes, it happens even though it may be the furthest from
your mind as you heal after delivery and endure sleepless nights.
Let’s talk about what to expect with sex after pregnancy!
While there's no required waiting period, many health care
providers recommend waiting 4-6 weeks after delivery to have
Having intercourse too early, especially within the first 2 weeks,
increases the risk of bleeding or uterine
infection. After 2 weeks, the chances of a problem occurring are
If you have an episiotomy or a tear during birth that
needed repair, wait until the site has completely healed. Check in
with your healthcare provider about that.
90 percent of women resume sexual activity by 3
Half of all women resume by 6 weeks.
The right time is when you decide you are
ready. It’s totally fine to take your time. You and your partner
should share your feelings about this. Take time to connect emotionally and
come up with ways to connect physically.
Most women, around 9 out of 10 women (90%) experience
pain when they first have sex.
This is the same if you have sex within the first 6 weeks or wait until 3
months after delivery.
Painful intercourse persists in 44% of women at three months postpartum,
43% at six months, and 28% at 12 months postpartum.
Vaginal dryness can be a big reason for pain during sex.
This is due to changes in your hormones postpartum.
Scar tissue from a tear or episiotomy may also lead to
pain during intercourse.
For both, use lubrication to help reduce the
dryness and help to eliminate pain.
FALSE! Actually breastfeeding increases prolactin.
Prolactin keeps estrogen low. Low estrogen means vaginal dryness.
Good thing we have lubrication! Keep some lube nearby so you won’t feel
Other steps to help with dyspareunia (pain during
Empty your bladder before sex or take a warm bath.
Use an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed before.
Use ice if you experience burning after intercourse.
Try different forms of intimacy: such as massage, oral sex or
Create time for sex when you're not too tired or anxious.
True! Ongoing pain can also be the result of problems in
the pelvic floor. These muscles provide support to the internal organs.
When they are strained, injured or weakened during pregnancy and birth this
could lead to painful intercourse.
Kegel exercises can help strengthen these
muscles and may decrease pain during sex.
Kegel exercises also can improve blood circulation to
your vagina and pelvic floor. This can help increase natural
vaginal lubrication AND increase sexual
pleasure for you!
You may also experience low sexual desire during your
Many things may contribute to this:
Chronic sleep deprivation
Fear of pain during sex
Possibility of pregnancy
PMAD ( perinatal mood and anxiety disorders)
What you can do if you have low sexual desire:
Talk to your partner about your fear about sex
or your feelings about your body.
Create time together. Figure out how your
partner can support you so you can get more rest and less fatigue.
Set aside time to spend with your partner
Maintain physical intimacy in other ways, such
as cuddling, taking a stroll hand in hand and just sitting close
together alone and talking.
Express affection with other gestures.
Be aware of signs and symptoms of PMADS and
False! Although exclusively breast-feeding may afford
some protection it does not replace the need for a reliable birth control
method. Research suggests waiting at least 18 months before attempting your
next pregnancy to reduce risk of pregnancy complications.
Most importantly talk to your healthcare provider about your sexual health
after pregnancy even if you are not asked about it!
You don’t have to be alone in this or feel ashamed if you are experiencing
pain or low desire. Most new moms are going through the same things.
Sexual intimacy is an important part of a relationship. Be proactive and
work on your sexual wellness. Remember until you are ready you can always
find other ways to create emotional and physical connections with your