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Natalie Clauss

When is the right time for sex after childbirth?

There are very many topics related to pregnancy and even more related to birth and postpartum that remain unspoken. I think that many women think about it and deal with it and yet, I perceive, little is said about it. I would like to write about some of these questions now. One of these questions for the postpartum period is: When is the right time for sex after childbirth?

At what point can I start having sex again? And are there differences between vaginal birth and cesarean?

First of all, there is not THE right time for this. It is very individual and depends on the wishes of the woman and also those of her partner. There is also nothing against sex during the postpartum period, even if there is still postpartum flow. For this time, the use of a condom is usually recommended to prevent a possible infection.

In principle, the mode of birth does not play a major role in the timing either. After a cesarean section, women are more likely to experience pain, which prevents some from feeling pleasure and thus having sex. Women with perineal, labial or vaginal tears have often had stitches in this area as well. I would not recommend sex until the stitches have been removed, simply because it can make a condom break more easily. However, most women don't feel the need for sex at all during this early postpartum period.

Will it feel different? Will it hurt?

I know some women who are afraid that sex will feel different after giving birth. Especially after a vaginal birth, such thoughts come up. Most of the time, this is not the case. The vagina is a bit more "open", but this usually does not change the feeling during sex. It makes penetration easier for the partner, which can even be more pleasurable.

Another "problem" that women describe is that they are drier in the vagina. This is related to breastfeeding and the hormone levels associated with it. When in doubt, a lubricating gel that is compatible with condoms can be used.

If sex hurts, this can have various causes. It is possible that birth injuries have not yet healed sufficiently. However, this is more likely to occur in the early postpartum period because such injuries heal relatively quickly. On the other hand, this may be related to vaginal dryness, which I described above. Also, as a woman, I could be very tense and cramping during penetration can also be painful. But it is always true, sex should not hurt (unless that is the desire of both parties involved).

I just don't feel like it. When will this change again?

It is quite normal that women do not feel like having sex at first after giving birth. It is also perfectly normal the other way around, women are simply different. The "unwillingness" is also related to hormones, which cause a young mother to devote herself entirely to the needs of the child.

Men, by the way, also sometimes describe this unwillingness, although I have the feeling that they talk about it even less often. Here, too, it can be quite different, of course. It gets difficult when a woman doesn't want to and a man does, or vice versa. But for this we always have the possibility to create pleasure for ourselves and to satisfy it.

The desire usually comes back. When, is very different. In any case, it is important to think about contraception. In most cases, women who breastfeed do not ovulate during the first 6 months. However, I would not count on probabilities. It is also important to remember that ovulation occurs before the first bleeding.

Ein Bild von Maiglöckchen.

In some cases, fear also plays a role in the first sex after birth. My midwife said that it often helps to prescribe "therapeutic sex". So to discuss an evening or time to have sex, without any pressure that it has to please. Of course, it shouldn't hurt.

When was the right time for you to have sex for the first time after giving birth? Or was it possibly too early or too late? You don't have to answer here, of course, but maybe you can think about it.

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