Sex after childbirth: How soon is too soon?

Updated on: 13 April 2022, 23:51 pm IST

How long should you wait before having sex after childbirth? An expert tells you what to keep in mind for postpartum sexual intercourse.

sex after pregnancy
Don't rush into sex after a childbirth. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Going back to having sex after pregnancy and childbirth can seem a little daunting. New mothers are recommended to wait for at least 6 weeks post-delivery to resume sexual intercourse in cases of no complications during pregnancy. This is because the female genital and reproductive organs increase in size during pregnancy and it takes 6 weeks for the organs to return to their pre-pregnancy size.

The vagina becomes thinner during pregnancy and childbirth, which makes it more prone to injury. That is why gynaecologists and medical Experts recommend avoiding resuming sexual intercourse till the vagina regains its pre-pregnancy size and elasticity.

pregnant woman
A woman’s body goes through multiple changes during pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Why wait for sex after pregnancy?

Vaginal and caesarean births can be associated with cervical and vaginal injuries which should be allowed to heal properly before resuming sexual intercourse to avoid pain during intercourse. Moreover, if the childbirth is associated with some complications like perineal tears, then the couple should wait for an additional period, till the tears heal completely before resuming sexual activity.

Things to keep in mind before indulging in sex after pregnancy

New mothers should keep the following things in mind to ensure a hassle and complication-free postpartum recovery.

Take appropriate rest during this waiting period to ensure adequate healing of genital and reproductive organs.

Also, taking care of a child in the first few months post-childbirth can take a lot of time, energy, and effort (and sometimes sanity) out of a mother. But the mother needs to recognize her own health needs and act upon them for the sake of her long-term well-being and that of her family.

Also Read: An ob-gyn reveals 5 ways your vagina changes post-pregnancy

sex after pregnancy
Make sure you practice safe and responsible sex. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

When starting sex after pregnancy, there are a few things new mothers can ensure to maximize their comfort and pleasure.

* Firstly, ensure that the vaginal episiotomy has completely healed before resuming any sexual activities.
* Practicing kegel exercises can also help in toning up pelvic floor muscles. * One should always remember to use suitable contraceptive methods to avoid pregnancy as ovulation can resume as soon as 6 weeks post-delivery.
* Using water-based lubricants is also advised to avoid vaginal dryness and soreness.
* If you experience severe pain after sexual intercourse, do not hesitate to seek expert advice proactively.

kegel exercises
Kegel exercises can strengthen your pelvic health post pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Pain management

Do not consider pain to be an integral part of sexual intercourse and please seek expert help in case of any discomfort.

While best practices are a good place to start, one must also realise that every mother’s body is unique. It is therefore recommended for all new mothers to have open and honest conversations with their ob-gyn to get their doubts resolved, overcome their fears, and ensure that their body is physically ready for sexual intercourse postpartum.

Dr Ankita Gharge Dr Ankita Gharge

Dr Ankita Gharge PCOS Expert and Ob-Gyn at Proactive For Her

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