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6 things to remember before having sex after pregnancy

Do you get scared every time your partner asks you to have sex after pregnancy? Well, delivering a baby doesn't mean you cannot enjoy your sex life. But keep these 6 things in mind before you resume having sex.
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Pregnancy and delivery change a lot about your body! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Team Health Shots Published: 25 Dec 2023, 09:30 pm IST
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Whether you have had a cesarean delivery or natural, it is very crucial to be mindful of practising safe sex post-childbirth. The postpartum period brings significant changes to a woman’s body, impacting both desire and comfort. This transition typically takes around six weeks. At times, a lack of information about when and how to resume having sex after pregnancy makes couples commit some mistakes that put them at risk of several health problems. Hence, it is the responsibility of both partners to understand everything about sex after pregnancy.

“A couple should avoid having sex for six weeks after a child’s delivery. This period allows a woman’s body, especially their vagina, to heal and recover,” Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Dr Astha Dayal tells Health Shots to discuss it.

How long should you wait before you have sex after delivery?

A six week postpartum period is required by the body to recover after childbirth. The American Pregnancy Association suggests refraining from penetrative intercourse for at least two weeks after delivery due to the risk of bleeding, hemorrhage, or uterine infection. Waiting approximately four weeks after delivery is generally advised. However, for someone who underwent procedures like c-sections, perineal tears, or episiotomies, where getting stitches are involved, it is advisable to wait for six weeks.

This period allows time for the uterus to shrink, for any vaginal tears or incisions to heal, and for hormonal changes to stabilise. Resuming sexual activity before the recommended period may increase the risk of infection or discomfort. So, always consult with your healthcare provider for the best advice.

What to keep in mind before having sex after delivery?

Here are 7 tips to keep in mind before having sex after pregnancy:

1. Increase foreplay time

If you are planning to have sex again after childbirth, think about increasing the foreplay time. Create a relaxed space and focus on your emotional connection rather than rushing physical intimacy. Incorporate sensual massages, gentle touches, and verbal affirmations to enhance arousal. Prioritise patience and mutual consent, allowing the physical aspect of the relationship to naturally evolve. It will help your vagina become naturally lubricated, reducing the risk of pain. If you feel any pain during intercourse, consult with your doctor.

A couple engaging in foreplay
Foreplay is an essential part of having sex and enhances the pleasure. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Use of contraceptive

“Always use contraception when you have sex. It will help reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy as well as vaginal infections,” advises Dr Dayal. Contraceptive methods such as condoms, hormonal options like birth control pills or patches, and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) like IUDs are common choices. While there’s no harm in taking birth control pills during breastfeeding, it is best if you are taking them with your doctor’s permission.

3. Open communication

After pregnancy, communicating your problems and feelings with your partner is crucial to maintain a healthy and satisfying sexual relationship. Discuss what you feel, your concerns, and your desires openly. It will help acknowledge the physical and emotional changes both of you may be experiencing. If you find it difficult in any way, be patient and understanding, and seek professional advise if needed. Gradual reconnection and exploring intimacy at a comfortable pace will help you get back on track.

4. Do Kegel exercises

Post-pregnancy, Kegel exercises are crucial for enhancing sexual well-being. These exercises target the pelvic floor muscles, promoting strength and elasticity. Performing Kegel exercises can help you regain vaginal tightness, aiding in improved sexual satisfaction. It will take a little time but performing Kegel exercises for 15 minutes daily will help you strengthen the pelvic muscles and increase vaginal sensation. This makes it easier for you to participate in sexual activities and your pleasure also increases.

kegel exercises
Kegel exercises can help strengthen your pelvic floor and tighten your vagina. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Maintain hygiene

After delivery, a woman should maintain proper hygiene both before and after a sexual activity. Take regular showers and change your undergarments daily. Always clean your vagina after sex and wipe it from front to back to avoid the risk of infection. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day and wear cotton underwear only to allow your vagina to breathe.

6. Use lubricant

Using lubricants during sex enhances comfort and pleasure by reducing friction and irritation. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing dryness or discomfort, which is common in the postpartum phase. Lubricants come in various types, such as water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based, each catering to different preferences and needs. Water-based lubes are good with condoms, while silicone-based options offer long-lasting lubrication. It’s essential to choose a lubricant that suits both partners and is free from irritants.

Remember to take it slow!

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