No matter how you gave birth to your baby, your body needs time to heal and recuperate.
Often women want to know when it is safe to have sex again after birth, and women who have had a c-section might assume they can resume sex right away.
When you decide to have sex again after birth really depends on how you feel, but most maternity care providers recommend new mothers wait until at least 6 weeks after birth before having sex again.
This includes women who have given birth via c-section.
Sex After A C-Section
So, when can you have sex after a c-section?
When to Have Sex after A C-Section
It’s up to how soon you want to begin having sex again after giving birth. If you’ve had a c-section, you will have an incision in your lower abdominal area which needs time to heal. This area will most likely be tender and painful if pressure is placed on it.
During your 6 week post natal check up, your care provider will assess your c-section incision, and how it has healed. If you have had an infection, or pain, you might need ongoing treatment.
Your care provider will also check to see whether your post birth bleeding (lochia) has stopped. Many women are surprised when they have lochia after a c-section. This bleeding comes from inside the uterus, at the site where the placenta was attached. Some of the blood tends to be cleared out during the c-section surgery, but you can still expect to bleed for 4-6 weeks after birth.
Your uterus also takes about the same time to shrink down to normal size, and unless you had an elective c-section (before labour begins) your cervix will probably have dilated and needs time to close.
The cervix should be closed to avoid the risk of infection when sex is resumed. Nothing should be inserted into the vagina for at least a few weeks after a c-section birth.
Tips on Sex After A C-Section
Not all women are keen to resume having sex, even after their 6 week post partum check up. You might be extremely fatigued, feel worried about pain, or just not interested in having sex. Go with your feelings, and talk to your partner as well; this article might help him to understand the different reasons why you don’t want to have sex yet.
If you decide to have sex when your six weeks are up, there are certain things you can do to make it easier for your body. First of all, don’t expect it to be a success straight off! It can help to spend time with your partner just giving and receiving loving attention – such as a massage, which can help to make you feel relaxed.
Try positions which you find comfortable and don’t put any pressure on your incision. This area can remain sore for a while and it’s a good idea to avoid pressure on the area as much as possible . Some good positions to try might be side by side or spooning. Rather than intercourse, you might prefer your partner to perform oral sex, which might be more comfortable and enjoyable.
Taking your time and enjoying each other’s bodies can help you to relax and move past any fear or tension you might be feeling about how your body looks or feels. You and your partner might feel nervous about resuming sex after birth, especially if you haven’t had sex for some time because of pregnancy.
Often women find sex uncomfortable after birth, especially if they are breastfeeding. Hormones and lack of libido can contribute to vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable and even painful. Vaginal lubricants can reduce discomfort during sex.
Remember, time and patience are important when resuming sex after your c-section birth experience. It’s likely there will be awkward moments and even nothing doing! If you and your partner keep the lines of communication open, and take things slowly and carefully, sex after c-section can be an enjoyable experience.
If you have any issues which extend beyond the expected time frame for healing, any ongoing pain, or bleeding that is unusual or sudden, make sure you ask your care provider for advice.