Sex After Pregnancy: Overcoming the Pain

Sex After Pregnancy: Overcoming the PainMany women have satisfying sex lives with their partners. However, for some of them, after having a child, their sex lives go downhill and it’s not only hormones that play a part, but there’s also the physical changes that occur during pregnancy and birth that sometimes make sex painful.

Many physicians will give a woman the okay to have sex about six weeks after giving birth. Still, it’s not uncommon for a woman to take a year or more to regain her normal sex drive. It’s not so much that a woman doesn’t love her husband or that she’s not attracted to him. It’s more about the fact that she tends to view sex as a chore, and being that she’s so busy taking care of the baby, she may find that regardless of what her husband does — tries to hold her hand, kisses her, brings her flowers — these actions strike up the thought of sex, and she immediately goes into ‘no sex mode.’

It is pertinent that a couple establish ‘no sex times’ where they are intimate with one another. This will help a woman to not feel under the constant pressure to always be up and ready for sex at anytime. And then during those moments when she is ready, she’ll be more relaxed, which is imperative if she is experiencing any pain during intercourse.

There are also many other ways to decrease the pain of intercourse after having a child. Hope Ricciotti, MD, highly suggests that women use lubricant during the first few months after giving birth because the vagina will likely endure natural dryness, making it extremely tender. Some women develop vaginal keloidal scars, which can lead to painful intercourse so severe that it becomes traumatic. There are creams and surgical treatment methods that can be performed to remove these scars.

Another way to reduce pain during intercourse is to use positions that don’t put extreme pressure on any problematic areas, such as where the stitches are. The woman-on-top position is a common preferred postpartum sexual pick that reduces pain as well as the side-to-side position.

The important thing to remember is that a woman’s desire to have sex is largely influenced by any pain.  If the pain is too uncomfortable or unbearable, then medical treatment may be needed.


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