Having Sex 3 Weeks After Giving Birth With Stitches

Having sex after baby can be uncomfortable or even painful if you’ve had a tear or episiotomy. If penetration hurts, speak up. There are other ways to feel close to your partner without penetration, like kissing, cuddling and massage.

Everyone’s recovery is different, so it’s important to listen to your body and do what feels right for you.

Vaginal Stitches

For vaginal births with tears or episiotomy, a doctor or health visitor may recommend waiting until the area heals to have sex. This is usually for the comfort of the woman and to help reduce the risk of a postpartum infection, although it depends on the delivery method. For women who had a C-section, a longer wait time is often recommended as the incision takes more time to heal.

It’s not uncommon for new mothers to feel sore and tired in the weeks after giving birth. Many find that penetrative vaginal sex doesn’t feel the same as it used to and that’s fine, just take it easy.

If you had a large tear or surgical cut in the area between your vagina and anus (perineum) during childbirth, you might need stitches to close it. This will make the perineal area sore and uncomfortable, but you should be able to resume sex after the stitches dissolve.

To reduce pain, wash the perineal area with warm water after going to the toilet and spray it clean after wiping. It may also help to place a cloth or sponge over the cut when you’re pooing and to press gently on it. You can also try pelvic floor exercises, as these enhance blood circulation and can help relieve pressure on the area.

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Dryness

It’s very common for new mums to feel a lack of interest in sex in the first weeks or even months after birth, particularly if the baby was born vaginally and they had a perineal tear or episiotomy. This is partly because they are so exhausted from looking after a newborn, and also because breastfeeding can reduce oestrogen levels.

For women who have a cesarean section, their doctor will likely recommend abstaining from sexual activity until at least six weeks after the operation, to allow their incision time to heal properly. It’s also because, in many cases, the cervix will still be dilated after a C-section delivery (even though it wasn’t directly involved in giving birth). This can make it easier for bacteria to enter and cause infection.

The pelvic floor muscles will also need some time to recover from the strain of labour, and many women who delivered vaginally report that sex feels painful or uncomfortable as a result. This is usually because of a perineal tear or episiotomy, and can be improved by using a lubricant.

But don’t worry if you aren’t ready for sex by this stage — everyone heals differently, and it’s okay to take things slowly. In the meantime, try other forms of intimate connection with your partner, like kissing and cuddling, or mutual masturbation, which may not require penetration.

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Bleeding

The hormones estrogen and progesterone are crucial to your baby’s health during pregnancy. But they also affect your sex drive. They are at their highest during pregnancy and drop dramatically after delivery, which can reduce a woman’s sexual desire.

Many doctors recommend waiting four to six weeks before having sex after delivery, regardless of the type of birth. This gives the body time to recover, and it will decrease your risk of complications from postpartum sex.

However, you may feel ready sooner, especially if you had a vaginal birth without complications. Then, you can resume sexual activity as soon as your doctor says it’s okay.

You can still get pregnant, even if you are breastfeeding and your periods haven’t returned, so you should use contraception whenever you’re sexually active. Try using condoms or switching to a hormonal birth control like the pill.

Some women who had a vaginal delivery with a tear or episiotomy have trouble getting intimate because of pain and discomfort. The area around the vulva may feel bruised and sensitive, and you might worry about having anal sex causing more damage or pain.

If you do have sex, make sure it is very slow and gentle. Oral sex or mutual masturbation can be a great way to get intimate, and it will allow you to enjoy each other’s bodies while easing into the physical intimacy of sex again.

Pain

Whether you had a vaginal delivery or a cesarean, the stitches in your perineal area can cause pain during sex. This is normal and nothing to worry about unless you are unable to have penetration or the pain becomes unmanageable. Talk to your doctor if this happens.

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During pregnancy, you put a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor muscles. Then, when you deliver a baby, there is even more pressure on these muscles. This can lead to soreness and a lack of libido after childbirth. Using an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen before having sex may help with the discomfort.

If sex is painful, you should let your partner know. They may need to be more gentle. It’s also a good idea to try positions for sex that reduce strain on the healing area. If you are breastfeeding, you can also try to have sex while your baby is asleep to avoid the distraction and decrease any tension on the breast.

You should wait at least six weeks before trying sex again, especially if you had a c-section. This is because the cervix can be dilated from the surgery, and bacteria can enter your uterus more easily. This increases your risk of an infection and can be harmful for the baby. If you do get pregnant again, be sure to use a reliable form of birth control.

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