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- Kunle Emmanuel
- Posts: 2004
- Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:02 pm
- Location: Lagos
Truth is, sex most times is not discussed, but rather assumed! Sex after pregnancy happens, it’s only a matter of time. Following child birth honestly the whole vaginal axis and environ are sore and most women are exhausted. These are expected.
The big question after delivery is, how soon can a woman have sex?
The general fact is, whether you gave birth vaginally or by C-section, your body will need time to heal. Recovery from childbirth has to be complete in body mind and spirit.
Generally, we advise women to consider waiting to have sex until they receive a clean bill from their health care provider. Most time there is a range, often four to six weeks after childbirth. However, please note that women recover differently from child birth, so women might recover very quickly, while others may take time to recover.
The waiting period allows time for the cervix to close, postpartum bleeding to stop, and any tears or repaired lacerations to heal. A clean surgical wound from either vaginal or CS delivery heals fast.
So, pretty much, the timeline for return to sex is strictly individualized. Some women feel ready to resume sex within a few weeks of giving birth, while others need a few months — or even longer. Factors such as fatigue, stress and fear of pain all can take a toll on your sex drive.
The next common question is, will it hurt?
Normally following delivery, hormonal changes might leave your vagina dry and tender (pain to touch), especially if you're breast-feeding. Please note, you might experience some pain during sex if you're healing from an episiotomy or perineal tears, especially extensive tears.
And by extension if you had CS, you will be more prone to pain compared to someone that delivered vaginally. It is very important to allow your wound to heal fully.
To help ease any discomfort during sex, take it slow.
You must go at baby pace. No rough riding, no acrobatics. Try and start with cuddling, kissing or massage. These combo work like magic. Try it. Gradually build the intensity of stimulation and if vaginal dryness is a problem, use a lubricating cream or gel. Also try different comfy positions to take pressure off any sore areas and control penetration.
Be in charge, not your partner. You might/can/should, also discuss alternatives to vaginal intercourse, such as oral or manual stimulation, until healing is complete. Tell your partner what feels good — and what doesn't. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!
You might/ can also take pain-relieving steps beforehand, such as emptying your bladder, taking a warm bath or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. If you experience burning afterward, apply ice wrapped in a small towel to the area. This works like magic!
It's also important to focus on the moment. Keep your mind on yourself and your partner — not the diapers, laundry and other household chores. Women are well known for multi-tasking, even in the heat of the moment!
If after all the above mentioned tips, sex continues to be painful, consult your health care provider about possible treatment options.
The next common question is; will it feel different?
Normally after childbirth, decreased muscle tone in the vagina might reduce pleasurable friction during sex, this can influence arousal, but the good news is, this is usually temporary.
To tone your pelvic floor muscles, try Kegel exercises.
• Simply tighten your pelvic muscles as if you're stopping your stream of urine.
• Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.
• Once you've got the hang of it, do at least three sets of about 10 Kegel exercises a day.
Chudi Ufondu. MBBS, MPH, CPH
Source: Facebook group askthe gynecologist
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