IT IS ACCEPTED THAT AFTER BIRTH, A woman forgets about herself and completely concentrates on the child – and even if this is not the case, the child still requires more attention, and the mother “will somehow figure it out herself” with her own problems. This toxic position leads to the fact that often women do not know what to expect after returning from the hospital in terms of well-being and body changes, and issues related to sex life are poorly covered. Although in fact there is nothing special about them: sex after pregnancy exists.
When can you start
The main recommendation of gynecologists, which concerns sex with penetration, is one: do not rush. When labor ends with the separation of the placenta, there is essentially an open wound on the inner surface of the uterus that must heal. The uterus itself, the cervix and the vagina take time to contract and return to normal size, and a woman needs a break to recover and generally want sex. The average time to start vaginal sex is six weeks. In about this time, the body copes with the main consequences of childbirth. A gynecologist can fully confirm the readiness for sexual activity, who, in any case, must be visited in those very six weeks.
The same amount should be abstained from anal sex, especially if stitches from tears or cuts remain in memory of childbirth. Sexual activity can cause these stitches to come apart or simply hurt. In addition, hemorrhoids, a common complication after natural childbirth and attempts, can interfere with anal contact . But sexual activity in general (oral sex and petting, for example) is not contraindicated: many women practice it within 3-4 weeks after childbirth and it goes away without consequences for the body.
Difficulties after a cesarean section
It seems that after a cesarean section, it is easier to return to sexual life than after a natural birth, because the operation does not injure the vagina. However, women report different problems within three months of giving birth, no matter how they went. It happens that a cesarean section is performed urgently when difficulties arise already during childbirth – which means that it is preceded by contractions and cervical dilatation. Therefore, for the sake of safety with penetrative sex, it is better not to rush until the body returns to normal. It takes four to six weeks, during which women who have had a caesarean section also experience bleeding – they may end earlier than in the case of a natural birth. In any case, a cesarean is an abdominal operation, and you need to wait until the stitches on the internal organs are completely healed.
How tears and cuts affect sex
In childbirth, an episiotomy is sometimes used, that is, the perineum is cut. This is necessary for many reasons, for example, when it is necessary to speed up labor or the baby is in the wrong presentation. The perineum is cut to prevent tissue tears – especially if there is a risk of severe third or fourth degree tears . That is, the wound would have been anyway, but the difference between a laceration, with muscle damage, and a neat surgical incision that does not affect important organs, is significant. In addition, after the incision, it is easier to apply even stitches, and the wound heals faster. True, now there is more and more evidence in favor of the fact that light ruptures (at the level of only the mucous membrane) heal themselves well and episiotomy is indicated only for individual patients with difficult labor.
Sutures sometimes have to be applied not only to the perineum, but also to the cervix and the walls of the vagina, depending on how severe the damage was during childbirth. In any case, by the time the lochia (postpartum discharge) ends, the stitches are in order and the wounds are healed. Unpleasant sensations may be present during genital intercourse even several months after childbirth. Sometimes this is due to how the breaks have healed: pain can occur for some time due to damage to the nerve endings. As a rule, discomfort can be eliminated without special treatment, and if the tears or cuts were well sewn and already healed, just normal preparation for sex is enough: get aroused, use lubricant and not rush anywhere.
How to protect yourself
Lactational amenorrhea – the absence of menstruation during breastfeeding – is usually treated with disdain as a method of contraception: almost every person has a story about “a friend who breastfeed and became pregnant.” Nevertheless, at the early stage of breastfeeding, ovulation does not really occur (that is, the egg does not mature), and pregnancy cannot occur, but only under strict observance of four conditions .
First, breastfeeding should be the only food for the baby. Secondly, the frequency of feeding plays an important role in maintaining hormonal levels that prevent ovulation: the baby should receive breast milk at least every four hours (that is, at least six times a day). The third condition is that no more than six months after childbirth should pass, and the fourth is the absence of menstruation. An important disadvantage of lactational amenorrhea as a method of contraception is that it is impossible to predict when the first egg will mature – you can get pregnant during this period. And since menstruation has not yet been, there will be no delay, one of the main signs of pregnancy. A woman may not pay attention to other changes, because a nursing mother’s breasts are constantly poured, and the body does not behave as usual.
By and large, the short period while lactational amenorrhea is active is given to us by nature in order to recover, orient ourselves and start using effective methods of contraception – these can be condoms or non-hormonal intrauterine devices, or certain types of hormonal contraceptives. During breastfeeding, drugs are prescribed that contain exclusively a progestin component: some tablets (so-called mini-pills), hormonal implants and intrauterine systems. Combined oral contraceptives containing estrogen can weaken lactation (but not all studies confirm this), which is undesirable if a woman wants to continue breastfeeding. Therefore, combined contraceptives are recommended to be used only after breastfeeding has already improved, and not earlier than six weeks after childbirth. In addition, there is a theoretical risk that the hormones taken by the mother can affect the health of the child (children, due to the immaturity of the liver and kidneys, find it difficult to process hormones in milk). However, there is no evidence of harm (as well as complete safety) yet.
Why you don’t want sex after childbirth
Not all women find it difficult to abstain for six weeks after childbirth. Some, on the other hand, do not want to think about sex for quite a long time. Polls show that in the first eight months after the birth of a child, the quality of sex and satisfaction with intimate life noticeably decrease. Several factors affect this: parents of a small child often suffer from lack of sleep and fatigue, which do not contribute to desire in any way. Hormonal changes after gestation and childbirth lead to vaginal dryness, stitches and soreness. After all, pregnancy, childbirth and the associated fatigue change the body . The question is not even about the ideas of beauty – you just have to get used to yourself, the birth of a child gives too many new sensations. So you don’t always want sex, and that’s absolutely normal. Even if the set six weeks are long over, and you are not ready yet, it means that you are not ready, no matter what the gynecologist says.
Is it true that the vagina stretches after childbirth ?
Well, we must not forget about the main postpartum horror story – a stretched vagina, in which there is too much space and little pleasure. Indeed, the vagina expands to allow the baby to pass. But this is not only due to mechanical stretching – hormones help the tissues. After childbirth, their level returns to normal, and all organs are gradually reduced and take almost the same form as before pregnancy. The pelvic floor muscles may become somewhat weaker – and the gynecologist will be able to distinguish a woman who has given birth from a woman who has not given birth. But without examination on the gynecological chair, this is imperceptible and not so important. Yes, for a while, vaginal sex may be unusual , not the same as you are used to, but later everything will return to normal; To speed up this process, you can always do exercises to train the muscles of the pelvic floor, and then the usual sensations will return faster. In addition, do not forget that a woman’s main friend in matters of orgasm is the clitoris .