The Vegan Doctor Talks Sex After Childbirth

by | August 3, 2018

Vegan Doctor in The House

How long after birth do you need to wait before having sex?

Honestly, there is no right answer to that question. The most important thing you can do is listen to your own body, but there are a few things you might want to consider.

 

vegan doctorEvery delivery is different, and some people might end up with a vaginal tear or an episiotomy (a small cut to make more room). If this happens to you, you will need stitches which means you will probably feel a little bit sore down below for a week or two afterward. This might put you off wanting to have sex until you feel like everything has healed up, and when the time comes, it is important to take things slowly and let your partner know if you feel a bit tender. Hormone changes after delivery can also leave your vagina feeling dry, so it may be worth investing in a good lubricant, and there are several vegan lubes on the market – or discuss with your vegan doctor if you have any issues using lube. 

 

Another consideration is whether you feel mentally ready for sex. Yes, you and your partner have probably done it many, many times before, and might be looking forward to getting back to old bedroom habits. But don’t underestimate what mental and emotional exhaustion can do to your libido. And not just your libido – hopefully your partner will be helping out with nappy changes and night feeds, and might be feeling less than energetic too. Some people also worry about the changes that have happened to their, or their partner’s, body, and it might take a little while to regain your sexual confidence. It’s important to remember not to put pressure on yourselves; there is no ‘normal’ time at which to start having sex again. You both need to enjoy it, so relax into your new routine, keep talking to each other, and the right time will happen.

 

The Vegan Doctor Suggests

Whether you are breast or bottle feeding, thinking about your future plans for expanding your family, or not, is advised before reigniting your sex life. Although breastfeeding offers some protection, as you probably won’t ovulate for the first 6 months of breastfeeding, if you are certain you don’t want to conceive again, or at least for some time, then you might want to consider your contraceptive choices. Your GP will discuss this with you at your 6-week postnatal check, and breastfeeding doesn’t mean you can’t take hormonal contraception. Of course, condoms are a simple means of birth control that won’t affect your breastfeeding baby, but did you know you can also use progesterone only methods such as the pill, implant or depot injection? The implant and injection are both usually ‘vegan’, in the sense that they don’t contain animal products.

 

Sex is a great way to connect with your partner after going through a life-changing event, but it’s important that you are both comfortable and that you enjoy it. Just remember to listen to your body, keep talking to each other, and don’t rush. The right time will happen, but if you are having difficulties, mental or physical, make sure to have a chat with your vegan doctor.

 

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Dr. Rebecca Jones

The Vegan Doctor, Dr Rebecca Jones, is a UK General Practitioner, an ethical vegan and health writer. She is a medical advocate for the vegan lifestyle, breaking down barriers between vegans and the medical profession. The Vegan Doctor blog contains up to date information on vegan medical issues such as which nutrients you need to consider taking, and how to find vegan alternatives to some medications. You can contact The Vegan Doctor via the website or Facebook page (see below), and she welcomes suggestions for topics you would like to read about. The Vegan Doctor plans to be available for private consultations in a London based clinic within the next 12 months. She is also currently writing a book which she hopes will be available to buy in the coming months.

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