Are there any self-help tips for sex after the birth? When is it safe to have sex after giving birth? You can have sex as soon as you feel ready after having a baby NHS Some experts advise waiting until after any bleeding has stopped, to reduce the risk of infection while your womb uterus is healing NCT nd , but ultimately it's up to you. When will I feel like having sex after the birth? The most important thing is to wait until you feel physically and emotionally ready.
It might help to know that about half of couples start having sex within eight weeks of the birth. Some couples start earlier, while others wait longer. By 12 weeks, about three-quarters of couples have had sex. Nearly all couples have tried sex again within a year of the birth.
Fodstad If you've had a caesarean, or suffered a tear, episiotomy or other problems with your recovery, it's likely to be a bit longer before you feel ready to start having sex again NCT nd, Fodstad Don't pressure yourself, and give your body a chance to heal.
Kissing, cuddling, touching and massage can help you feel close to your partner. Then when you do decide to try sex again, it will feel less like a challenge and more like a natural next step. Sex after the birth Health visitor Maggie Fisher talks about how soon couples can re-start their sex life after the birth of their baby.
Three months after having a baby, nearly nine in ten new mums experience issues McDonald Further down you can find some self-help tips for ways to manage many of these issues. Physical issues You may be feeling sore from a tear , episiotomy or stitches. If you had a caesarean , you will still be recovering from a major operation. Your scar should heal by the time your stitches come out, which might be the time to start thinking about sex again if you want to NCT. Feeling pain, and having a tight or dry vagina are among the most common worries about sex for new mums McDonald For most women, these sexual issues get better after a few months.
But one in five women continue to have painful sex up to a year and a half after giving birth, so if this happens you're not alone McDonald Help is available if sexual issues are making you unhappy. If problems with sex are worrying you at any stage, talk to your midwife or GP.
She can help, for example, by referring you to an obstetric physiotherapist CSP nd. Emotional issues Feeling low, or suffering from postnatal depression , can make you feel less like having sex. Talk to your GP, midwife or health visitor if you think this is a problem for you. Your perception of your own body may have changed. You may need time to recover before you feel like yourself again. You may feel proud of the changes that pregnancy has made to your body, or find it hard to deal with these changes.
All of these feelings are understandable and normal. You will probably be pleasantly surprised to hear what they say. What if my partner wants sex before I do? Sex should be a pleasure for both of you, not a chore. The stimulation of touch alone can be highly pleasurable. Words and cuddles can do much to convey affection and emotion. You will both benefit from maintaining some intimacy, until you are both ready to have sex again.
Your partner may also feel uncertain about having sex after seeing the birth. He may worry that sex will be painful for you, or be unsure about his own feelings.
Talk about concerns that either of you have. By sharing the problem, and being honest with each other, you can work through it together. Try just cuddling and being intimate at first, so you gradually become used to being touched in a sexual way again. After having a baby, your vagina may be drier than it was before, so try using lubrication to make things more comfortable.
Use your fingers and go gently, with lubrication if that helps NHS When you do feel ready, try not to rush things. It should feel natural, and you should both feel ready and fully aroused. Beginning with you on top means that you can control the rate and depth of penetration. If things become sensitive or uncomfortable, ask your partner to stop for a while. He could instead try gently touching your clitoris. Once you do feel aroused, you can try again.
Your baby is bound to wake up at the most inconvenient time, but just try to laugh it off and wait until the next opportunity presents itself. Be patient, as things will get easier when your baby starts sleeping through the night. Keep doing pelvic floor exercises , to help bring back muscular tone to your vagina.
Not only is this a great way of helping your healing, it can actually improve your sex life, too NHS b! Eat well , drink plenty of fluids, and rest whenever you can. Looking after a new baby is extremely demanding. To have energy left, you also need to look after yourself. When you're ready to have sex again, don't miss our eight sex secrets for new parents. In the meantime, the frank and funny let's talk about sex group in our community is the perfect place to discuss any issues with those who've been there.
October Next review: October References CSP. Sexual activity and dyspareunia the first year postpartum in relation to degree of perineal pain and dyspareunia - a prospective study. Does method of birth make a difference to when women resume sex after childbirth?
Consultation about sexual health issues in the year after childbirth: Frequency, severity and persistence of postnatal dyspareunia to 18 months post partum: Sex after having a baby. Vagina changes after childbirth. Sex and contraception after birth. What are pelvic floor exercises? NHS Choices, Common health questions. Postnatal care up to 8 weeks after birth.