Postpartum Sex: What to Expect and How to Deal with Pain

Pregnancy brings a lot of changes to your body. While right after giving birth, you probably don’t think about your sex life, there will come a time when you will want to resume it. There is no precise timeline that suggests how long you should wait before having sex again, but doctors recommend waiting from four to six weeks. However, there is more of what you should expect from postpartum sex. For example, you might want to browse through a website such as and resume your sex life slowly, gradually, by using safe toys first before the full penetration.

This article will provide you with important information about sex after giving birth, such as how delivery affects intercourse and your libido, whether or not bleeding during sex is normal, and reasons why you might not feel like having sex at all. Aside from that, you’ll find helpful hints on how to deal with pain. Continue reading to learn about the upcoming changes.

Things to Expect from Postpartum Sex

Waiting long enough before having sex after childbirth is not enough to avoid confronting changes and complications. If you want to know what to expect from postpartum sex, below are some tips that will help you understand your body’s changes.

First of all, you need to be aware that cesarean delivery has a different effect on you than vaginal delivery. While pregnancy, in general, alters your hormone levels and chemical processes in your body, the cesarean doesn’t affect your body in any additional way apart from the apparent scar. However, if you had a vaginal delivery, you might experience the following:

Sexual Dysfunction

Painful intercourse is the most common problem among new mothers. In fact, nearly nine in ten women experience pain during sex in the first three months postpartum. The most common cause of this is an episiotomy or a tear, but it can also be vaginal dryness, perineal pain, damage caused by stitches, or pelvic floor problems.

However, there are things that you can do to make sure that you’ll feel less pain during sex. First of all, you need to try to relax the pelvic floor muscles. You can learn how to do this by doing Kegel exercises. Second, it’s essential to find a comfortable position – try different ones until you feel more comfortable and able to experience a pleasure. It’s important to keep in mind that the first time after giving birth might be painful. It shouldn’t discourage you from trying again, but also, don’t rush into things.

Vaginal Dryness

Many women experience vaginal dryness after giving birth. This is usually due to hormonal changes, decreased estrogen levels, or breastfeeding. To prevent vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse, it’s helpful to use lubricants. If you’re breastfeeding, you can also use organic coconut oil. It is a natural lubricant that helps stimulate estrogen production and prevents vaginal dryness and infections, such as thrush. Another natural lubricant is aloe vera gel. Keep in mind that while these lubricants are natural, they are also not very long-lasting and can run out sooner than expected. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a bottle of lube at hand. Another option is to use a silicone-based lubricant.

Increased Vaginal Discharge

After giving birth, your vagina will produce more discharge than usual due to hormonal changes, but similarly to vaginal dryness, this is entirely normal. However, you should avoid using scented products around your vagina because they can lead to infections, such as bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections. This is also why coconut oil might be a better choice for a lubricant and douching with water only when needed. Also, avoid wearing tight clothing as it can increase the amount of sweat and moisture in your genital area and lead to infections as well. As such, go for loose cotton underwear, pants, and dresses to allow airflow.

Uterine Contractions During Sex

Some moms experience uterine contractions during sex after giving birth. This is usually due to hypertonic muscles that develop after delivery and might feel like strong cramps or sharp pains in the lower abdomen. To prevent these contractions from causing pain during sex, you must regularly do Kegel exercises before and after birth. This will help avoid these types of contractions and make sex more comfortable for you and your partner. Also, if you had uterine contractions during labor, don’t push yourself during sex because they might return at any time and cause more pain than usual. Instead, use breathing and relaxation techniques until they subside again. If uterine contractions keep coming back during sex, talk to your doctor because they might signal other underlying health conditions such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Sex Positions After Childbirth

Some sex positions are better to avoid if you want to feel less pain during intercourse after childbirth. For example, a missionary position is the worst choice because your partner will be on top of you, which will make it harder for you to control the amount of pressure applied to your vagina. In order to reduce the pain from intercourse, try having sex in a position that will give you more control of pace and depth of penetration, e.g., spooning, doggy style, and woman on top.

Bleeding During Sex After Childbirth

While vaginal bleeding during sex after childbirth is not common, it can happen. You must know when this happens and how to react. In most cases, it is not a reason for concern. It might be caused by sexual excitement or orgasms during intercourse, or it can be so slight that you don’t even notice it. However, if you notice bleeding after sex, especially heavy bleeding or one that lasts more than a week, this might be a sign of an infection or another health problem. When this happens, you need to see your doctor as this might be a sign of something more serious.

Communicate with Your Partner

As always, communication is essential when it comes to sex. But it’s even more important after giving birth as you might feel vulnerable, both physically and mentally, because of disrupted hormone levels. If you feel pain during intercourse, it’s crucial that you tell your partner about it. You don’t have to be shy or scared; your comfort should be the most important thing for your partner. Also, try not to feel ashamed or embarrassed if the first time is painful. Remember that this is completely normal. You should also let them know about any preferences that you have in terms of positions or techniques.

Dealing with Pain During Sex After Giving Birth

First of all, make sure that your partner is aware that sex might be painful for you because of your recent childbirth. Moreover, try changing positions gradually and let him know if the pain becomes unbearable. Instead of focusing on having an orgasm, just make sure that you are enjoying yourself. It’s important that you relax the pelvic floor muscles and concentrate on breathing or relaxation techniques.

Additionally, you can use different types of lubricants to make sex more comfortable. Choose carefully as the wrong lube or too much of it can cause irritation and lead to infections. As such, you should also avoid using scented products around your vagina.

Final Note

If you want to have a healthy, enjoyable sex life after giving birth, you must communicate with your partner. Additionally, keep in mind that sex after childbirth is different from the one before. Don’t push yourself if you experience pain, and don’t worry if you feel that your libido is low at first. It will come back; just give it some time. If you are still worried after some time, consider talking to your doctor. They will be able to tell you more about the changes that occur during this period and provide you with more information about the best positions and techniques to follow.