If you think that after giving birth sexual pleasure will return as a wave and that the intimate relationship will resume at the point where you left them, you are wrong. It will take time to tie things up. A recent study in Australia with 1,507 mothers, who were followed up at 3, 6 and 12 months after delivery, showed that 89% of them described sexual health problems in the first 3 months after giving birth; and that 51% continued without desire at 12 months. The study also reveals that the most common concerns in postpartum are: loss of interest in sex, pain during sex and lack of lubrication. But, in addition, there are other concerns that fortunately come with solutions.
When Is It Safe to Resume with Sexual Pleasure?
During the puerperium (period of time that the recovery of the reproductive system lasts after delivery: between 5 and 6 weeks), sexual intercourse is discouraged. This also applies to the use of exciting vibrators and other stimulating adult toys. From the medical point of view, intercourse is not recommended in the first 30 or 40 days to avoid possible infections.
If there has been a cesarean section, it can be started after 20 days, provided that the woman’s evolution is good and no complications have arisen. But it’s important to note that outside the coital practices, there should be no limitations. That is if the woman is physically and emotionally well, the couple can carry out other sexual practices.
The reason for avoiding intercourse is to give the body time to recover. The uterus has to return to its size and the vagina must recover from the traumatism of childbirth. The lochia also needs to vanish (small hemorrhages that usually last 30 days ) and, if there have been episiotomies, it is important to wait for them to heal.
However, the beginning of the coital relationships after childbirth varies from one woman to another. Although it is common to recommend waiting until the period known as ‘quarantine’ passes, this will vary depending on the type of delivery (whether it has been a vaginal or cesarean section, whether episiotomy has been performed or tears have occurred) and the overall health situation of the woman.
If she is well then there is no problem in initiating sexual relations before that period, although in other cases it should be maintained until the bleeding has ended, as it indicates the existence of injuries in the birth canal susceptible to infection.
What Do I Do If I Have Lost the Desire?
It is not strange that the sexual desire vanishes, especially when we consider that the situation between you two has dramatically changed. There is less intimacy, concern for the baby and exhaustion among others. But, in addition, the hormonal factor weighs heavily.
After childbirth, there is an increase in prolactin, the hormone that promotes breastfeeding, and a decrease in estrogen which leads to less sexual desire. This is also confirmed by a study carried out in different health centers around the world to check the degree of excitement and sexual desire of women who breastfeed compared to those who do not.
It has been found that the women who breastfed have less appetite and interest in having sexual relations than those who did not. Therefore, as the midwife explains, it is important to work with them the psychological element, so that they understand the changes that motherhood implies.
The couple should be organized to have some time for just two of them, if nothing, then just to embrace two of them and rest together. After childbirth, the expressions of affection are fundamental. There will be a lot of time to sexually entertain yourselves and relieve stress in your favorite way after this period has passed.
The intense care for women must be in place. Her partner should massage her whenever there is a chance and love her without any erotic exigency which will in return make her recovery much faster. The interesting thing is that the signs of affection do not disappear since they are the basis of eroticism.
Other Unexpected Complications
Once recovered, the woman can feel the libido again, but there is still an obstacle to overcome: vaginal dryness. If you do not breastfeed, the vaginal epithelium regains its state when normal menstrual cycles restart (after 6 weeks.) But if you choose to breastfeed, the hormonal change that occurs in this situation leads to low levels of estrogen that will condition a thin and fragile vaginal epithelium.
This will lead to difficulty and discomfort in sexual relations. There is a solution to the problem since the use of lubricating creams improves the situation and if condoms are used as a contraceptive method, it is advisable to use lubricants compatible with it. It is necessary to do a general relearning, to explore by what ways pleasure goes now, what practices you two like, the things that excite you and the way in which you will do it.
All this can be maintained as before, changed a little or changed completely, every woman and her pregnancy is a different story. You might be asking by this point, Will it hurt? Well, there are situations that can cause pain during intercourse, such as an episiotomy that has not healed well.
If during the delivery there has been an episiotomy or tear, we must wait for the wounds to heal, then self-massage the scar with rosehip oil once a day until the area is not painful to the touch. Midwives indicate another problem that can cause discomfort: the distention of the vagina. In this case, it is advisable to perform the Kegel exercises for two months after delivery to recover tonicity. “You can also perform Hypopressive exercise, but in case of the cesarean section, you should wait a month.
Which positions are the most appropriate?
It’s advised that at the beginning of postpartum coital relationships, the woman adopts the position in which she controls the degree of penetration and intensity, that is, she should be able to detect possible discomfort quickly.
Women who breastfeed their children tend to feel the most sensitive around breasts, something that can be very annoying during sex. Note that with the excitement there may be milk output. In this case, if the couple finds it uncomfortable then they should look for other erogenous zones.
There is no definitive answer that will tell us what is the universally appropriate sex position, you will have to explore and see for yourselves what option is the least painful and most comfortable. Some things may change in regard to your previous practices which can come as an exciting addition to your sex life.