Getting back into the bedroom may be the last thing on your mind after having a cesarean section — but many women (and their respective partners) have questions about intimacy post-birth.
Whether you’re curious about how long you should wait to have sex after having a C-section, or wondering what to expect, here’s what you need to know. Learn how soon you can have sex after a vaginal birth here.
When Can You Have Sex After a C-Section Delivery?
No matter if you give birth vaginally or via C-section, your body needs time to heal after delivery. While everyone heals at their own rate, most women find they are ready to have intercourse between four and six weeks after giving birth. Your healthcare provider will give you the green light when you are fully healed and ready for intercourse again.
Remember, after giving birth, your uterus takes about six weeks to return to its normal size and for your cervix to close back up. It is best to wait to resume any sexual relations until after the cervix has closed.
For mothers who give birth via C-section, the healing process is typically longer. Having a C-section is a major surgery, and most women will need more time to recover from a C-section than a vaginal delivery.
Whenever you resume having sex you must begin using birth control again. Pregnancy can happen almost immediately, even after just having given birth! Talk to your doctor to find a breastfeeding safe method of birth control (most methods are).
How Long Does it Take for Your Cervix to Close After C-Section
Women who deliver their babies via c-section usually experience less vaginal bleeding than women who delivered vaginally, since much of the blood is cleaned out during surgery. However, this doesn’t mean that having a cesarean means a faster recovery period. You should still expect vaginal bleeding and wait four to six weeks before having sex again.
This is due for so many reasons:
– Bleeding occurs until the uterus returns to its regular size.
– The area around your incision site will still be tender.
– Some women experience pain, numbness, or tingling for up to several months.
– Some women also deal with post-partum depression, which can put a damper on having fun in the bedroom.
While it’s completely normal to experience symptoms for the first few weeks after childbirth, if they get worse, or if you’re experiencing fever or vomiting, you need to visit your OB-GYN as soon as possible. This is because worsening symptoms could be signs of complications such as endometriosis or post-cesarean wound infection.
That being said, if you feel fine, there’s no reason to worry. A c-section is a relatively safe surgical procedure
Speak to your doctor if you notice any increase in pain, discharge, or bleeding after your c-section. You should feel better as time goes on, not worse.
Sex After C-section: Precautions and What to Expect
First of all, be aware that it’s very possible to become pregnant again right after giving birth. So if you find that having your new baby is enough to have on your plate for the moment, remember to use birth control.
Also, keep in mind that after having a baby, estrogen levels in a woman’s body drop. This can result in vaginal dryness, so make sure to have plenty of lubricant handy. Once those two threshold issues are taken care of, remember the following words of advice:
– Engage in plenty of foreplay. This will help you get back in the mood and aid with the vaginal dryness issue.
– Avoid any positions that put a lot of pressure on your abdominal area, such as the missionary position. Don’t get too sad. There are plenty of other options.
– Be aware that your breasts may leak milk while having sex. If this makes you uncomfortable, wear a bra with breast pads inside.
– If a specific position is painful, stop doing it, and let your doctor know.
4 C-Section Recovery Tips
1. Get Lots of Rest
Remember, a C-section is major surgery. Just like with any other type of surgical procedure, your body needs lots of repose afterward to heal. Following your C-section, you will likely stay in the hospital for three to five days for your initial recovery, but a full recovery takes around six weeks.
Getting enough rest is easier said than done. After all, taking care of a new baby isn’t easy. We recommend resting whenever your baby is asleep. If you can, ask your partner or other family members for help with diaper changes, housework, and any other strenuous activities. Having a solid support team will help you recover faster.
2. Don’t Overwork Yourself
Your body will be sensitive following your C-section, so it’s important to be extra careful when resuming your normal activities. Try keeping everything you need to take care of the baby in one place (such as diapers, wipes, and a clean set of clothes), so you don’t have to get up too often.
It’s also important to not lift anything heavier than your baby, since your incision marks will be healing. While you should avoid strenuous exercise, we recommend taking gentle walks often as the movement can help your body heal while also preventing blood clots and constipation. Plus, walks with your new baby are great for bonding!
3. Don’t Forget Your Mental Health
Taking care of your emotional health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Having a baby can bring on feelings you’ve never experienced before. You may feel exhausted, sad or disappointed. All of these feelings are normal, but don’t ignore them. Talk to a friend, your partner, or your doctor.
4. Relieve Pain With Over-the-Counter Medication
Some OTC pain medications may be suitable for you to take to relieve pain. Be sure to ask your OB-GYN which pain medicines are ok for you to take, especially if you are breastfeeding.
If You Have More Questions About Post-Birth Intimacy, Call Your OB-GYN
Still not sure if it’s okay for you to have sex yet? Are you experiencing pain or discomfort during sex since delivering your baby? If you are at all concerned, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team has helped women be successful in every stage of their lives! You can give us a call at (941) 907-3008 or view our online patient portal.