Sex after giving birth is an important topic, and you may have different questions about sex after a c-section than you would if you had a vaginal birth.
Questions such as “how long after c-section can you have sex?” or even “can you have sex right away after a c-section?” are common and totally understandable. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, and it can be difficult to navigate.
So, what should we all know about sex after a c-section?
In this article: 📝
- How long should you wait to have sex after giving birth?
- What should you think about with sex after a c-section?
How long should you wait to have sex after giving birth?
Recovery after giving birth takes time, whether you gave birth vaginally or via c-section. There’s no need to rush, or to feel any pressure to jump back into action. Between the lochia, your stitches, and simply feeling exhausted due to the night feeds, it can take many weeks (or months) before you feel like being intimate again. That’s normal.
There’s no set amount of time before you can start having sex again, but many mamas wait at least 6 weeks after giving birth. It’s often around this point that they see their doctor for a postnatal check-up, so they know more about how they’re healing physically.
Everyone’s recovery from childbirth is different, and how soon you feel ready to have sex may depend on many things, including whether the c-section was elective or emergency.
So, how long should you wait after a c-section? Often, it’s usually better to wait at least 6 weeks. But this doesn’t mean you should be ready right after this point. Everyone’s different.
What should you think about with sex after a c-section?
Sex is such a personal and emotional thing, and there are no rules about when you should feel ready. It’s totally normal if you’re feeling concerned about having sex again.
Your healthcare provider can help you talk through any worries you might have. And if you have a partner, it might help to be open about your feelings so you can get the support you need as you get back into the swing of things.
In the meantime, we’ve put together a few tips. Just a few things to think about:
You can listen and respond to your body however you need to:
A c-section is major surgery, so the area on your tummy may be sore, swollen, bruised and tender. These things naturally fade in the weeks and months postpartum, but it’s natural if you feel more protective of your tummy and want to move carefully when you choose to get intimate. You won’t be alone if you find it uncomfortable when you start having sex again, especially in the incision area – you can have numbness for a few months after surgery.
Even if you haven’t given birth vaginally, it will probably still be swollen there, and the cervix still needs to heal and go back to its normal size after pregnancy. And how you feel about your body might be a bit more complex in the weeks and months after birth. If you’re struggling with how you’re feeling, you can talk to the community on Peanut.
You can build intimacy gradually back into your daily lives:
If you have a partner, sex is just one part of a relationship. Don’t panic if it’s taking you some time to feel that way again. If penetration is uncomfortable or painful, perhaps you can start with affection and other intimate acts which help re-establish your intimacy. Things like massage, gentle foreplay or oral sex can help you to relax and get used to one another.
Another aspect is that when you’re looking after a newborn, time is always in short supply. So, building your relationship back into each day can help keep the connection between you. Touching hands, kissing, and cuddles while watching a movie can all help stimulate those loving feelings, which helps to build intimacy.
You can try lubrication when you’re ready:
Those pesky hormones have been at it again, and the changes they go through can sometimes lead to vaginal dryness.
So, maybe look into vaginal lubricants give you a helping ahem hand. They can help you make the experience pleasant and enjoyable. If lube isn’t your thing, then some new mamas say that more foreplay and affection will naturally get those juices flowing.
Some positions are better than others, especially after a c-section:
If your incision is still tender, it’s natural to want to be careful with the sex positions you try.
The most comfortable positions are those that don’t put any pressure on your tummy. So, side-by-side or rear entry might be best in those first few weeks. Good ol’ missionary might need to wait a little while so that the incision isn’t irritated.
Your boobs might be leaking for some time:
Even if you’re not breastfeeding, foreplay can stimulate your breasts and they may leak. It’s totally normal, and won’t affect your milk or your supply. Some mamas recommend wearing a bra and breast pads, so the leaks are contained and don’t interrupt the moment.
You’ll still use birth control:
Recent pregnancy doesn’t stop you from getting pregnant again. And even if you haven’t had your period, you can still ovulate. So maybe have a chat with your doctor before you start having sex, so you know you’re properly protected if you want or need to be.
So, in summary, there is no precise “moment” when you should start having sex again after your c-section. Your body needs time to heal, which means many doctors recommend waiting at least 6 weeks. This is a good guideline to keep in mind.
But everyone’s body is different, and every relationship is different. You can be kind to yourself, listen to your body, and not feel pressured or rushed. And if you have any worries about complications after having a c-section, please consult your healthcare provider.
If you want to connect with other women who have had a c-section to share stories, get support, learn, and meet, join Peanut today.
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