What Does Sex Feel Like For a Woman After Birth?

Grayscale Photo of Naked Woman

You may feel a little rusty in the bedroom, even after you’ve recovered from childbirth. That’s completely normal!

Pregnancy and delivery change a lot about your body. It can take time for your uterus, vagina and cervix to return to their normal size. It can also take a while for your libido to return, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

1. It Feels Different

For most new moms, sex doesn’t feel the same after birth. This is totally normal and should improve over time. Many women experience pain or dryness during sex after having their baby. These symptoms are often caused by hormones and nerves, but they can also be related to a pelvic floor that needs some extra attention and care after having a baby.

Your vagina will likely be stretched out after childbirth, and it may take a while for your muscles to return to their previous size and strength. If you don’t do Kegel exercises regularly, this can make sex more uncomfortable than it needs to be. You may also experience a lot of pressure on the area around your incision, if you had a C-section or episiotomy. This can be exacerbated by anxiety, which makes you hyper-aware of every twinge and can make it harder to relax.

Other factors that can affect your sexual desire and sensitivity after pregnancy include hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and the stress of adjusting to motherhood. If sex just doesn’t feel right, don’t force it. Instead, try talking openly about your feelings and exploring other ways to connect with each other. You can also use a lubricant to help with pain or discomfort. If this doesn’t help, talk to your doctor or midwife about other options.

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2. It’s Painful

Women often experience pain or discomfort during sex after birth, especially if they had a C-section. This can be due to the fact that the incision may need to heal. For this reason, many doctors recommend waiting until four weeks postpartum to have sex that involves penetration.

However, the discomfort can also be caused by hormones and the physical changes after birth. For example, low levels of estrogen can make the vagina dry and tight, which in turn causes pain during penetrative sex. This is particularly true for women who are breastfeeding, as they will have lower levels of the hormone during this time.

It can also be due to the muscles and nerves in your pelvic floor that were stretched and pulled during pregnancy and labour. In some cases, these can cause a condition called prolapse, which occurs when your muscles and tissues support your organs (like the bladder or uterus) become weak, and your organs shift out of place. This can be painful during sex and can also interfere with your ability to have a vaginal delivery in the future, as it can affect how your cervix opens.

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If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort during sex after having a baby, it’s important to let your partner know that the feeling is not what it used to be and to take things slowly so that they can both get comfortable. You should also be sure to talk with your practitioner about any concerns.

3. It’s Unpleasant

Having sex after birth can feel unpleasant, even if you have been cleared by your health care provider to resume sexual activity. This is normal, and it is not necessarily related to tissue trauma. It can be due to a combination of reasons, including the fact that you have been awake and active for many hours every day with your newborn, hormone changes, baby blues or postpartum depression, or simply feeling exhausted from breastfeeding.

You may also experience pain or discomfort during sex due to your incision, whether you have had a vaginal delivery or a C-section. The healing incision can irritate your vulva, causing dryness and chafing that can lead to pain during sex. This can be uncomfortable, especially if you have been experiencing a high level of pleasure during sex before giving birth.

In addition, it can take some time for your vulva and uterus to heal from the traumatic event of childbirth. For this reason, it is important that you and your partner decide when to have sex after birth. If you do, be sure to avoid any type of intercourse that involves penetration until your vulva muscles and nipples have healed sufficiently. This is important, because penetration can prolong the healing process and cause serious problems. This is why many health care providers recommend waiting at least four weeks after delivery for any sex that involves penetration.

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4. It’s Uncomfortable

A woman’s body has been through an incredible transformation during birth, and it takes time for the muscles to heal. This is true even if you’ve had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery. Hormones, tissue trauma to the vagina and perineum from tearing or an episiotomy (a procedure where a cut is made to make the vaginal opening wider), and weakening of pelvic muscles can all interfere with sex feeling comfortable.

In fact, a lot of women say they experience discomfort during sex for months after giving birth. This is completely normal.

Some of this discomfort is caused by dryness, which can be remedied with a bit of lubricant. However, pain during sex may be caused by a dysfunctional pelvic floor, which requires a more thorough investigation and oftentimes help from a pelvic floor therapist. Pain during sex can feel like a stabbing sensation, burning, shooting, itching, or tingling.

It’s also important to remember that if you are uncomfortable during sex, it’s not because you aren’t desirable. It’s just a sign that you and your partner are taking things slow, which is a good thing. And, most importantly, that you’re both taking the time to reconnect and explore your sexuality in a way that feels good to you. Over time, this should help your sex feel more like it did before baby.

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