When you give birth, you enter a whole new world. It’s an amazing journey of joy, happiness, and excitement. At the same time, though, you go through a lot of physical and emotional changes.
Among the many ways your body and mind are changing, your sex drive is definitely one of them. You may experience everything from vaginal dryness to weeks-long recovery periods. So, how long should you wait?
There is no single rule for when you can resume sex after giving birth. Most doctors recommend waiting for 4 to 6 weeks from delivery, whether you delivered your child naturally or through a C-section. Every woman is different, though. We recommend taking your time until you feel ready and comfortable. Here are some things to consider before having sex again.
After childbirth, it’s important to give yourself time and space to recover. Physically speaking, be sure to check in with your healthcare provider to make sure your scars fully heal and there are no infections. You will also need to be emotionally ready to have sex again, whether that involves simple stress management techniques or seeing a therapist to address mental health concerns. Above all, though, remember that there’s no rush. Your timeline is your timeline, and someday you will be ready again.
The reason behind waiting at least 4 or 6 weeks is to give your body enough time to recuperate. After delivery, hormonal changes cause vaginal tissue thinning and a shrinking uterus, which can cause some discomfort. Right after you gave birth, your body starts to undergo a recovery process. This is when your bleeding stops, tears heal (if any), and your cervix closes. Your vagina and uterus will also return to their pre-pregnancy state.
In some cases, some women may have a perineal tear or episiotomy to widen the vaginal canal during childbirth. If you had a C-section, you will have an incision that needs to heal. If you engage in sex with your partner too soon after this, it will interfere with the healing process or may cause your wound to rupture. When a rupture happens, it will require a surgical procedure to fix.
You also need to consider that your vagina is prone to infections in your first two weeks postpartum. As such, having sex increases your risk of postpartum hemorrhage or uterine infection.
The experience of childbirth brings many changes that could happen to a woman’s mental, social, and emotional health. Some moms may feel fear, while others may feel depressed. Between hormonal shifts and the stress of being a new mom, these are all completely normal emotions that may affect your sex drive.
Rather than feeling guilty for something you can’t control, it’s important to discuss these issues with your partner. That way, you can find other ways to enjoy intimacy together before you’re ready to have sex again.