How to Make Sex Less Painful After Birth

Many women experience pain during penetration after birth, called dyspareunia. This is often related to low estrogen levels and can be exacerbated by breastfeeding.

It’s important to listen to your body and wait until your health care provider says it’s safe to have sex again. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to make sex less painful after birth.

1. Get a Hot Bath

Many new mothers find that their sex life doesn’t feel the same as it did before pregnancy. That is normal and it’s important to discuss this with your partner. Then you can work together to find solutions that will make both of you happy.

One of the most common reasons for painful sex after giving birth is that the pelvic floor muscles have been stressed during pregnancy and labor. Taking a hot bath or shower can help stretch these muscles out. It can also be helpful to do Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles.

For women who had a C-section, it is especially important to let their body heal before trying to have sex. Even if they did not have any tearing during delivery, they may still experience pain because of muscles and nerves that were affected by the surgery itself. This could include the need for a repair, as well as the possibility of blood clots.

It is recommended to wait at least 6 weeks before having sex after birth, as this will allow the uterus to shrink, hormone levels to return to normal and for muscles to heal. For some, it may take longer than this. If you are not ready, then it is best to not force yourself to have sex and instead try other ways of bonding with your partner such as kissing, mutual masturbation or massage.

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2. Apply Some Ice

Having a baby is one of the most amazing things that can happen to a woman, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. For many women, painful intercourse after birth (also known as dyspareunia) is a common issue that can occur right after pregnancy and delivery.

Fortunately, this is something that is treatable and doesn’t necessarily have to affect your sexual enjoyment. To help with the pain, you can take a hot bath before sex and even apply ice wrapped in a towel to the area if it hurts during penetration.

Remember, though, that it’s important to listen to your body and take it slow with sex once you’re given the go-ahead by your doctor. It may be uncomfortable at first, but your body will heal and you’ll be able to enjoy it again soon. For now, try to relax and bond with your partner in other ways, like cuddling under the covers.

3. Get a Lubricant

If your vagina is dry from breastfeeding or the hormone changes of pregnancy, you may have pain during penetration and during sexual intercourse. This is called dyspareunia and it can be very uncomfortable for both partners. Choosing the right lubricant can help.

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A few of our favorite lubes are water based, silicone based and oil based. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. We’ve got a whole blog post about the differences, and you can find a video here that compares and contrasts them.

You can also try experimenting with different sex positions that will be less painful for your lady parts. Oral sex is very satisfying, and can give you orgasms that will be just as intense as sex with a partner!

If you are ready to return to sex, talk to your health care provider. They will likely recommend waiting until the healing period has ended, and if you had an episiotomy or perineal tear, you may need to wait even longer. But if you are mentally and physically ready to resume sexual activity, and the doctor clears you, go at your own pace and remember to use ice and a lubricant, and don’t force yourself to engage in sex that is too painful. The desire and pleasure will come back. It’s just a matter of time!

4. Get a good Night’s Sleep

After a long day of feedings, diaper changes and sleepless nights, the last thing on your mind is sex. But sex isn’t just important for your partner; it’s also vital for your emotional and physical health. So when sex finally comes to mind, it’s understandable that you might want it to feel good.

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Unfortunately, for many new moms, the first sex after birth can be downright painful. This pain is called dyspareunia and can occur during or after intercourse, as well as during penetration. The pain may be caused by the muscles and nerves in your pelvic area that have been stretched, pulled or torn during pregnancy, or from scar tissue from a C-section. Even women who have a vaginal birth or a natural delivery without tearing may experience dyspareunia.

If you’re dealing with this problem, there are some things you can try to make your sex less painful after birth. If you’re still having trouble, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.

In the meantime, take it easy and be patient. Remember, everyone’s bodies are different, and your body will need time to recover from childbirth. In time, it should return to its pre-pregnancy state, and you should be able to enjoy sexual intimacy again. If you are unsure of whether you’re ready to have sex, ask your doctor to give you the green light, or check out some options for intimacy without penetration, such as kissing, mutual masturbation and stroking.

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