Whether you gave birth naturally or by caesarean section, this is a serious test for your body – not only childbirth, but also pregnancy. This, plus the actual appearance of another living being next to you, changes your life and the life of your partner. Not necessarily for the worse, but you’ll likely have to adjust. Some new mothers say that having sex after giving birth is like having sex for the first time in general – in terms of the emotional component.
Burn bright: libido
You may notice that sexual desire is not as strong as it used to be. First, to some extent it is due to physiological and hormonal changes in the body. If you are breastfeeding, you actively produce prolactin, which suppresses sexual desire.
Almost all women who breastfeed experience some decrease in libido within 3 months. This is normal, and within six months everything returns to normal.
The brain of a woman after childbirth also works differently. When scientists examined the brains of women who had given birth and those who had never given birth, the latter experienced much less arousal when looking at sexual images. Most likely, the reason for this was the reaction of the amygdala, the amygdala, the reaction of which in women after childbirth was reduced compared to those who never gave birth.
Libido is also reduced because for a rich sex life (let’s be honest) you need a more or less calm atmosphere and rest. And when you have a small child, chronic fatigue is your new companion. There is no time for sex, healthy sleep is more important.
But this will not always be the case, and you should not worry about your reduced libido. You and your partner will adjust to the new life and sex will return.
When is it safe to have sex?
It all depends on how your baby was born.
But you can usually have sex when the damaged tissue heals completely and the bleeding stops. Usually, the doctor prescribes a check-up for you 6 weeks after the birth, examines you and, based on the results, gives permission to resume intimate life.
But even if your doctor told you that it is safe to have sex now and there is no risk of injury or infection, this does not mean that vaginal sex will give you the same pleasure as before.
What’s going on with your vagina?
The vagina, of course, changes after childbirth as the baby works its way out of the womb through the birth canal into the outside world. To let it pass, the tissues of the vagina are stretched. Sometimes the thin skin between the vagina and anus can be torn or cut by a doctor. This is called an episiotomy.
The vagina may look and feel wider than before delivery. It may seem as if softer and “freer”, and also immediately after childbirth, it seems to be swollen and as if more twisted. This is normal, gradually all these manifestations will decrease. As for the width, while your vagina may never return to its prenatal state, it will not hinder your sex life in any way if you take on the strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles.
Exercise can be done at any time, whether you are watching TV or washing dishes.
In addition, you may feel that the vagina is drier than before. This is due to lower estrogen levels than during pregnancy. Breastfeeding women have lower estrogen levels than formula feeders and dryness may be more pronounced. But everything returns to normal as soon as you stop feeding. In the meantime, you can use a lubricant to avoid discomfort.
Thank you Cap advice, but if you feel pain during vaginal sex, don’t rush into it. It just doesn’t make any sense.
One Irish study found that 44% of women experience pain during penetration during the first three months after giving birth. Regardless of how the baby was born, inside your uterus there is a huge wound where the placenta was attached, and it needs time to heal.
Perhaps sex with penetration as the first intimate experience after childbirth is not the best idea. You can try masturbation to evaluate how well and comfortable you are, which movements bring you joy, and which ones cause discomfort.