Many couples cannot keep their sex urge during the recovery period after the birth of a baby which feels like torture. In the case of C-section or vaginal birth wounds, the body takes at least one to two months to heal enough and work as a biological cock block. Soon after delivery, the newly formed mother is undergoing many changes physically as well as mentally, she is doing with the lingering pain, raging hormones, or postpartum depression.
How does sex feel after birth?
Pregnancy, labor and a vaginal delivery cause stretching or injury to the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support the uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum. It becomes challenging to start again the sex life after delivery as the female partner would have undergone physical as well as psychological changes. She may not desire to have sex or may have less desire to do it. There will be pain as scar tissue will be seen in vaginal delivery. The cervix may get irritated easily while the mothers who had undergone the vaginal reconstructive surgery have chances of tightening of muscles.
Effects of delivery on sex
Sex would be felt different after delivery. It has been observed many women experience sexual problems for about three months after their first delivery. The common issues which arise in women soon after delivery sex are :
- Vaginal dryness
- Thin vaginal tissue
- Loss of elasticity in vaginal tissue
- Low perineal tear
Hormones have a major role in the recovery of the body after delivery and help in return of normal sexual activity. Soon after delivery, the female hormone – estrogen levels drop and normalize the same as pre-pregnancy. Estrogen is responsible for natural vaginal lubricant secretion and thus low levels of estrogen can lead to vaginal dryness.
Dry vagina causes irritation and sometimes even bleeding can be seen during sex. In the case of vaginal birth, the vaginal muscles are stretched and need time to get back in strength and stability. While the C section can cause changes in vaginal sensation and the vaginal dryness can also be observed. Here, the mother will be recovery from the abdominal surgery, and thus it is advised to make sure the incision site has healed before restarting the sex.
How long does it take for your cervix to close after birth?
During pregnancy as the embryo grows, the cervix stretches, and while delivery it is soft and has little elasticity known as tone. For cervix, it takes about 1 week to return to its normal size but complete healing requires almost 4 to 6 weeks from labor and delivery.
7 truths about sex after delivery
The most common symptom experienced in post-delivery sex is Pain. It can be due to scar tissue in vaginally delivery or muscle tightening in C-section and along with hormonal changes pain can be experienced.
Sex would feel different:
During vaginal birth, the vagina stretches and the female body loses the vaginal elasticity. It can lower the cervix. This could impact differently on both the partners, they would have different sensations.
The new female orgasm:
Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to a temporary shift in the quality of the orgasmic contraction in the females along with sensations.
Breasts are no more sexual:
The mother is breastfeeding the child or not, in the post-pregnancy period the breast show tenderness which could lead to a new life-sustaining function.
Breasts may come into play in sex post-delivery and may leak milk in case of stimulation or orgasm. This is very common.
Facts about fertility:
It takes about 2-3 months for the woman to get back her period after delivery. But there are chances of another pregnancy in these months as well. Breastfeeding can lead to the release of hormones which reduce the chances of conception.
Changes in physical appearance:
Women who become uncomfortable with their post-delivery bodies may be due to stretch marks, gain in weight, and loosening of skin.
Pregnancy after delivery
Pregnancy can occur soon after the delivery of baby though in breastfeeding women it usually happens after six weeks. In breastfeeding women, nursing acts as a natural method of contraception for the first four to six months soon after delivery. This condition is referred to as lactational amenorrhea. Though it offers no side-effects, the chances of this birth control method are way too high. It is better to opt for a barrier method or implantation of IUD can be helpful.
Bleeding during sex
It is common to have bleeding following childbirth for some weeks as the uterus is healing and have sex during this period can cause additional loss of the blood. It is observed, the vagina is more sensitive and can dry easily in the early weeks after childbirth which makes the vaginal muscles more prone to injury. Usually bleeding stops on its own but in case, it doesn’t then it is advised to visit a doctor.
Effects on libido
During pregnancy, the two main female hormones responsible to maintain pregnancy are estrogen and progesterone also they can control the sex desire of the woman. Their levels are quite high during pregnancy and soon after delivery they fall. Therefore, the woman would not have any sexual desire for some days or weeks. It takes a little longer for libido to return in women breastfeeding the baby as breastfeeding enables low estrogen levels in the woman.
As the body gets adjusted to the new changes after delivery, the libido will return and hormones would begin to work normally again.
For a healthy, happy sex life post-pregnancy following tips should be considered :
- Go slow: though the doctor has allowed you to go for sex, the body may not be ready the way it was before pregnancy and things would take time.
- Increase foreplay: Post delivery, the vagina would require more time to produce its lubrication. Therefore, increasing the foreplay or mutual masturbation before penetrative sex would be helpful.
- Find time for sex: the couple needs to work on the calendar and make out time for sex leading to less anxiety.
- Use lubricant: artificial lubricants help ease sex.
- Practicing Kegels: Kegels exercise is found to be helpful for pelvic floor muscles. These workouts help in regaining the strength and returning the vaginal sensations.
Pregnancy brings changes to the mother’s body physically as well as mentally. It is therefore important to wait for four to six weeks after the delivery to have sex. Sex after the delivery would feel different but not bad.