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How long do you have to wait to have sex after giving birth?
After delivery, whether it was a vaginal birth or a cesarean section, the uterus and cervix need time to heal.
Why should you wait to have sex after giving birth?
The lining of the uterus, especially the place where the placenta was attached, is susceptible to infection.
It is not safe to have penetrative sex until at least 3 weeks after delivery. During this time, the woman is still bleeding and there is a risk of bleeding or uterine infection.
It is important to avoid anything that can introduce bacteria into the vagina and cause an infection, such as penetrative sex, douching or tampons.
The postpartum bleeding is an indication that the uterine lining is healing, and can last between 3 and 8 weeks. When the flow stops being bright red, it indicates that the healing is almost finished.
When there has been an episiotomy or vaginal tear, you will have to wait longer.
In these cases it is recommended to wait 6 weeks before having sex. It is usually when most women go for their postpartum examination, and when the doctor can check that the vagina and perineum are fully recovered to be able to return to have safe and pleasant sex.
Take it easy
It has been six weeks since the birth, your episiotomy or cesarean are practically healed, you are not in pain anymore, but you may not want to resume with sexual relations.
There have been many changes that your body, and your life, has suffered after pregnancy and childbirth. Your body needs to recover, and most likely you’re exhausted and overwhelmed with the baby’s care. Hormonal changes may also have decreased your libido.
Take it easy.
Tell your partner how you feel. The fact that you can not, or do not feel like having sex with penetration does not mean you can not have other types of closeness with your partner. Embrace, kiss, or caress are a good way to let your body heal completely and slowly, your libido will reappear. Once you feel ready for intercourse you can try:
- Experiment with different positions in which you can control the depth of penetration. In the case of a cesarean, the side positions can be useful so that there is no pressure on the wound. The best thing is to experiment, and look with which you feel better both.
- The use of a lubricant should reduce any discomfort.
- Make sure your partner knows what feels good and what does not as it progresses.