When Can You Have Sex After Giving Birth?
Expectant couples are often told to wait up to six weeks before and after giving birth. But new research highlights that there is no common “right” time for everyone.
A Common Sex Time For Everyone May Be Different For You
The researchers noted that every woman’s postpartum experience is different. Someone who has had a very difficult birth and needs stitches may think six weeks is too early. However, a woman who has had an uneventful birth can feel sexual feelings again in just a few weeks.
“The six-week timeline is well established, but we found no evidence to support it,” says Andrea DeMaria, a scientist in the School of Health and Human Sciences at Lafayette Purdue University, who is the lead author of the study.
There is not always a time or situation that can be given alone to resume sexual activity. “There are different timings for everyone,” he said. The study authors suspect that because the six-week timeline overlaps with a routine postpartum exam, it has become a classic outcome.
However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, along with other women’s health groups, recently re-examined and updated its postpartum care guidelines. The groups recommend that women see the doctor again within three weeks of giving birth and make a follow-up appointment 12 weeks before giving birth.
For this study, researchers asked 70 women in South Carolina about reproductive health-related issues.
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Women may not want to have sex after giving birth
DeMaria said there are a number of factors that prevent women from continuing to have sex. “We’ve discovered that after giving birth, some women are dissatisfied with their bodies or feel insecure and uncomfortable, or just tired and exhausted from caring for a new baby,” she said.
Another study author, Stephanie Meier, Ph.D., said that numerous psychological factors can become barriers to continuing sexual intercourse.
“Women may not feel mentally prepared or exert effort, especially during sex. They may feel bad and discouraged if it doesn’t go well or the way they want. Body image is also a concern, and some women may not feel comfortable with the changes in their body.” explained Meier.
Many women remembered getting the six-week timetable from their doctor, and some were told that the waiting period was about six weeks to 40 days.
“Six weeks; The doctor said so.” Others thought the six-week timeline meant their bodies needed to recover from childbirth. “We waited six weeks because I wanted everything to go smoothly,” said another.
Having New Birth Is Not A Barrier To Have Sex
Some doctors have told new mothers that they can have sex again whenever they want.
“I’m not sure if six weeks is the magic and right number,” said Roseanne Seminara, director of midwifery at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in New York City.
Recovery after giving birth is a process, and women should resume sexual activity when it feels right for them, she said.
She says it’s best to wait until the bleeding stops. “When the bleeding is over, the inside of the uterus, the uterine lining, has not fully healed,” Seminara said.
Women may hesitate to resume sexual activity if they have multiple loops or have vaginal dryness. Sometimes remembering the pain of childbirth is also a deterrent, he said.
However, Seminara said, “Fatigue is the number one enemy of sexual intercourse.”
According to DeMaria, communication between couples is very important. “Discuss your wants, interests, and needs,” he suggested.
He recommended that you seek help from your doctor if you or your partner are worried or have ongoing fear or anxiety about continuing sexual intercourse.
The results of the study were recently published in the journal Culture, Health and Sexuality.
WebMD, Is There a Right Time for Sex After Childbirth?.