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Let’s talk about sex – May 2023

Let’s talk about sex

If the FAQ’s didn’t answer all of your questions, here are some more answers that may help.

Having sex can be scary after you’ve have given birth. You might be wondering is it too soon, is it safe, will it feel different or hurt?

There is no right or wrong time to have sex after you’ve had your baby, but there is no rush. You and your partner should both feel comfortable and ready to be intimate again. The type of your delivery can influence your feeling and readiness to have sex. With a straight forward vaginal delivery you might experience some swelling and bruising for few days so it might take you a shorter time to feel ready. If you had stitches in your perineum, you might want to wait until your stitches have dissolved as they may cause some discomfort. If you had a caesarean section, you can resume sexual intimacy whenever you feel fully recovered. You might want to wait until your wound is healed and the blood loss has stopped.  

The recommendation is to not have penetrative intercourse for 4-6 weeks to allow tissue to heal and prevent any infection. Some women don’t feel physically or emotionally ready for months.

Worries about discomfort after delivery are normal and it can happen after any type of delivery. Most women describe it as stinging, stabbing or burning sensation either around entrance of vagina or during deeper penetration. There might be several reasons for it.

One of the reasons for discomfort is vaginal dryness caused by hormonal changes, as low level of oestrogen effects the vagina tissue. This is absolutely normal, adding lubricant can help to ease the discomfort. If you are using a condom as a birth control, make sure it is compatible not sure what that means?
. Exploring your body with your partner again and prolonging foreplay can make things also more enjoyable.

If you had vaginal delivery your vaginal tissue and muscles have been stretched, blood flow might be altered due to healing. All of these changes might alter your sensations, which might make sex less pleasurable. Doing your pelvic floor exercises will help to speed up your recovery. Go to start your journey now to start your work out programme. If you had to have perineal stitches your scar might be a bit stiff, so start gentle perineal stretches and massage. It doesn’t really matter which direction you go, just working the area will ease the stiffness. Wait till your stitches have dissolved and NEVER MAKE IT HURT. If you are not sure where to start you can watch our perineal massage in the video resources, it is safe to do after delivery as well.    

Another reason why you might not feel ready is the lack of sleep, feeling overwhelmed by the whole experience, feeling anxious about your body changes and you might just feel exhausted. Try to communicate with your partner, you are both on the journey together.

Most importantly if you are continuing having issues, please don’t suffer in silence. Ask any health professional to refer you to a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, who will be able to help. Self-referral coming soon.   

Author Daniela Long