How Long Should You Wait for Sex After a C Section?

Everyone knows that having a baby changes your life, whether you had a vaginal birth or a C-section delivery. Daily priorities may look different as your body and sleep schedule change — it would probably be easier to name the parts of your life that won’t change postpartum.

Your sex life may also go through some changes, but many new parents don’t think about this aspect going into pregnancy. 

If you’ve just had a C-section and felt that old familiar urge to rip your partner's clothes off and get it on, here’s what you need to know.

Talk to Your Doctor First

No matter your method of birth, doctors recommend waiting at least four to six weeks postpartum before having sex. But this shouldn’t be an arbitrary decision based on a random date — always schedule a postpartum checkup with your healthcare provider and get the go-ahead before having sex. This visit might not be the sexiest feeling, but at least you’ll take comfort in that oh-so-satisfying theoretical green light. 

What Causes Painful Sex After C-Section?

While we might not think of it this way, cesarean sections (C-sections) are major surgery procedures!

Like any major surgery, it takes time for your body to bounce back. Pain can come from several factors, like hormonal changes, discomfort at the C-section incision site, infection, or just the overall healing process.

Listen to Your Body

Have you ever worked through a headache or just a few hours of sleep because you felt guilty about taking a leave from work? It’s super easy to become disconnected from your body. After all, we live in a society that puts a lot of importance on what we accomplish and promotes the toxic “hustle culture” above all else. 

Part of taking your power back is focusing on mindfulness, which can help you identify how you’re actually feeling. The other part is listening when your body is telling you something and not putting pressure on yourself to “push through it.”

Healing Takes Time

Healing from a vaginal delivery or cesarean birth is a process that can’t be rushed. While the body is amazing and can bounce back from nearly anything, honor it by giving it what it needs to do that successfully.

Best Sex Positions After a Cesarean Delivery

Before you attempt any sexual activity, let’s talk about positions. Pre-pregnancy you were likely able to contort yourself into lots of different positions — legs behind your head, chest pressed on the bed, the backseat of the car, you name it! 

However, when you start thinking about sex after a C-section, you might need to amend those goals just a little to keep yourself safe and comfortable.

Mostly, these positions are the ones that put you in charge the most. That way, you can control how deep your partner can penetrate you, or put a stop to things more quickly if things begin to hurt. 

Being on top or in a side-lying position tends to be the most universally comfortable, but always listen to your body.

Sex Positions To Avoid After a C-Section Delivery

Finding the right sex positions after a C-section delivery is crucial, but so is knowing which ones you should avoid. Certain positions can slow down healing and even be potentially painful or dangerous. 

When having sex after C-section delivery, stay away from positions that put pressure or pull on your scar — for example, missionary and doggy-style. Not all sex needs to be penetrative, as oral sex is a great way to experience pleasure and intimacy if you’re not ready.

Why Lubrication Matters Postpartum

Lubrication is critical in any sexual encounter. Without it, sex goes from wet, slippery fun to painful, far-less-fun friction. 

New moms tend to have a little less of their own natural lubrication than usual, and for a few reasons, so supplementing with lube,like our Intimacy Sex Oil with CBD can make a huge difference.

But why is natural lubrication such a problem, even after your sex drive returned? Here are some possibilities.

Hormone Levels Are Low During Nursing

Your hormone levels may feel out of whack after having a baby, just like when you were pregnant. These hormonal shifts are present if you’re breastfeeding, especially in the form of a decrease in estrogen levels. 

Estrogen maintains vaginal lubrication, so not having enough of it likely means you’re just not getting as wet as you used to (even if you’re super turned on).

Sex May Initially Be Uncomfortable

It’s not uncommon for sex to be uncomfortable during the postpartum period, especially when you’re trying to get back in the groove. The initial penetration may feel difficult as you slowly ease your body for sexual intercourse, but lube can help make postpartum sex much easier to manage.

Tips for Amazing Postpartum Sex

Did you finally get the all-clear from your doctor, and you’re ready to get back to getting it on? With these tips for amazing postpartum sex, you’ll be back to business in no time.

Relax

It’s normal to be afraid that postpartum sex may hurt, especially if you’re a first-time parent. But being too tense, emotionally and physically, can derail the pleasure train before it even leaves the station. 

Try to relax and get your head back in the right space. This can help decrease pelvic discomfort and increase the likelihood of reaching orgasm. Put on your favorite sex playlist, dim the lights, or wear something that makes you feel sexy — you know best what gets you in the mood, and it’s worth taking the extra steps to get you there. 

If you’re still having trouble relaxing physically, try our Intimacy Melts. These small CBD suppositories can help ease those feelings of discomfort and up the relaxation factor so you can enjoy. 

Go Slow

If foreplay was essential before a baby, it’s even more important after C-section delivery. While your mind may be feeling the rush for penetration, your body may need a little longer to ease back in. Remember to take things as slowly as you need to.

Communicate

Your partner may be the most loving and supportive person in the world, but they’re never going to know what's going on in your head or body if you don’t communicate with them. Tell them how you feel, listen to how they feel without judgment, and work together to devise a plan that works for both of you.

Use Lube

Vaginal dryness is a common (and normal) issue after having a baby due to decreased estrogen in your body. That’s why using lube is essential for postpartum sex — don’t get it on without it.

Stop if You Feel Discomfort

Don’t push through uncomfortable postpartum intercourse. If you’re feeling any discomfort, especially when using lube, it may be a sign that your body isn’t ready to be penetrated.

Are There Risks Associated With Sex After C-Section?

If you listen to your body, go slow, and wait until your healthcare provider clears you to have sex postpartum, sex after C-section delivery is relatively low risk. But the low risk doesn’t mean there’s no risk, so knowing what can happen can be helpful.

First, it’s essential to note that even if you’re breastfeeding, you can still get pregnant if you’re not on birth control. Ask your doctor about safe methods of contraception. 

Second, having sex too soon after delivery can cause tears, discomfort, or even issues with your incision site. There is also an increased risk of infection, both to your incision site and vagina because your body is in recovery mode and cannot protect itself from outside bacteria.

Takeaway

Having sex after a C-section requires more forethought than you may have been used to before having a baby, but it can be just as fulfilling.

With the right lube, plenty of communication, and a little flexibility, you can get back to being intimate with your partner just as soon as your healthcare provider clears you. 

Congrats on the new addition!

 

Sources:

What to Expect at a Postpartum Checkup—And Why the Visit Matters | ACOG

Breastfeeding and Sex | La Leche League International

Experiencing Vaginal Dryness? Here's What You Need to Know. | ACOG

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