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Postpartum Intimacy: When To Have Sex After Childbirth

by | February 6, 2019

Curious to know more about postpartum intimacy? When is the right time or how to resume normal relationship post childbirth? Give this article a thorough read.

Childbirth is an emotional, intimate event for the entire family. As you’re recovering from having a baby, you’re probably curious to know when’s the right to resume a normal sexual relationship with your partner. You must be wondering ‘How long to wait to have sex after birth‘? The answer to this question is far more complex than the standard six-week recovery period. Here’s what you need to know about postpartum intimacy.

Postpartum intimacy: when to have sex after childbirth
Credits: NATNN/ Shutter-stock

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Postpartum Intimacy: When To Have Sex After Childbirth

Sex after childbirth and postpartum recovery

Postpartum recovery is highly individual. Your doctor will most likely tell you to hold on for about six weeks and not consider sex before your first postpartum check-up. In order to determine whether or not you’ve fully healed, your doctor will look into the following:

Postpartum vaginal healing

One of the most important signs of whether you’ve fully healed after giving birth is the healing of tears on your vagina. If you’ve had an episiotomy, chances are that you don’t have any other tears. In this case, healing of the wound is a sign you’re recovering well. If you haven’t had an episiotomy and you have multiple vaginal tears, all of them will heal according to their own natural pace. Depending on your individual body characteristics, it’s possible for these tears to take longer to heal.

Postpartum ultrasound checkup

Your doctor will most likely perform an ultrasound exam during your postpartum check-up. Your doctor will check to see if your uterus has reduced to the right size. Keep in mind that doctors might have different opinions on postpartum healing that vary by country, but also every individual woman. If you’ve had multiple pregnancies or you had complicated labor, your doctor might count in different factors when examining your uterus. Your doctor will also look into your cervix, noting it’s the size and whether or not it’s still slightly dilated. Based on the ultrasound results and doctor’s expert opinions on your individual condition, they’ll tell you whether or not you’ve fully healed and if sex is safe for you.

Postpartum lab test results

If your doctor finds any reasons to suspect complications (like an infection), or they are monitoring you for other medical conditions that might affect your postpartum recovery, they might order some lab tests to check your internal health. The results of these tests will indicate whether or not you need additional treatments and medications to support postpartum recovery.

Are six weeks enough to wait to have sex after childbirth?

Most doctors agree on a general recommendation to hold off having sex before your first postpartum examination, which is most often six weeks after you’ve given birth. Still, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically safe to have sex past that time. Rushing to have sex after giving birth might result in further health complications, like bleeding or an infection. Infections happen very easily after giving birth because your immune system is compromised and your cervix takes a bit of time to fully close and get back to its pre-pregnancy size. For some women, cervix might remain slightly dilated for months after giving birth. This makes you vulnerable to infections, as your uterus remains open for all sorts of unsafe bacteria to enter.

Your body heals within its own pace after giving birth. You should be patient with yourself and your body, allowing it to fully heal before having sex. Keep in mind that you’ll heal fastest after the first labor, while each consecutive postpartum recovery will take longer.

Ask us your doubts on postpartum intimacy in the comments below.


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Categories: Postpartum, Pregnancy

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