Is It Safe Yet?

Finally, the delivery is over and you have a beautiful new baby. But you’re wondering: is it safe to have sex yet? Also, you may be wondering if there is something you should do to prepare for resuming your sex life. While it’s important to check with your doctor or midwife about birth control, here are some general guidelines for making postpartum love.

Six Weeks

In general, most health care providers will advise you to abstain from sexual relations until after you have your six week postpartum checkup and receive a clean bill of health. There are several reasons why women should refrain from sex until this time.

Delivering a baby means your uterus and cervix have gone through significant trauma. It is only natural that they require some time to heal. In particular, the lining of your uterus will be vulnerable to infection before the six week postpartum checkup.  Sex, douching, and tampons are all vehicles for infection at this time since they introduce bacteria into the vagina.

Healing Uterus

After delivery, there is a flow of material called lochia from your uterus. The flow of lochia is a sign that your uterus is healing itself. When the lochia changes color and is no longer red, this means that your uterus is almost healed. The process may have a different timetable for you than for your postpartum pals, but can take anywhere from between three to eight weeks.

There are other factors that can come into play during delivery that can have an impact on the safety of postpartum sex. If you’ve undergone an episiotomy that necessitated stitches, engaging in relations could open up the tear and pull the stitches out. The same is true if you incurred a vaginal or rectal laceration or tear during the delivery.

Reduced Libido

Many women experience reduced libido or sex drive after the baby is born. Some women feel pain while having intercourse even after delivery is long past. But the fear of pain during postpartum sex is just about universal.

There are steps you can take to improve your comfort level during sex. First of all, buy an over-the-counter lubricant. Your estrogen values are low right now, and won’t return to normal until menstruation occurs. This can cause vaginal dryness.

Also, consider trying a different position. Woman-on-top can help ease the pressure on your more sensitive parts, since you have more control over male maneuvering. But it’s also a good idea to have a frank discussion with your doctor about the level of pain you’re experiencing during intercourse. Keep in mind that the area around the perineum, where the episiotomy is made, can take up to a year to heal. The scar tissue can be the source of pain during sex, but there may be ways and means to alleviate the sensitivity, such as topical creams, physiotherapy, or special exercises.

Be Honest

Some women may feel that the closeness they have with their newborn baby is quite enough physical nearness and loathe the idea of being with a partner after spending so much time in close proximity to another being: the baby. Be honest about how you feel with your partner, so he’ll know that it’s not personal.

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