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After having a C-section, apart from normal concerns about the baby, the question – “How and when can I resume my sex life?” – will be at the top of your mind. The best way of answering this question is to ensure that your body and mind are ready. It is also important that your partner is aware of your concerns and feelings. Obviously, there will be many challenges as you experience the ‘first-time’ fears all over again.
Recovery After Caesarean Delivery
After a C-section, the incision will take about six weeks to heal completely, and it will feel tender for many weeks post the delivery. Many women feel numbness and tingling around the cut, but that’s absolutely normal. As long as there are no symptoms like vomiting or fever, the feeling of discomfort can be ignored. Any bleeding, discharge or pain around the incision should be immediately reported to your doctor.
When Can You Have Intercourse After a C-section?
If you are wondering how long to wait to have sex after your C-section, here are a few facts you should consider. In the case of a vaginal delivery, your uterus needs at least six weeks to come back to its normal size; however, for those who’ve had a C-section, which is a major surgery, the healing process will take longer. Your body will heal at its own pace, which is why it is best to give your body the necessary amount of rest and care to heal. A hiatus of about six to eight weeks is the average time most women have to stick to after a C-section delivery to resume sexual relations with their partner.
What to Expect When Having Post-Caesarean Sex
Post-caesarean sex will feel different than the earlier times, especially due to the time gap since your last sexual encounter. You and your partner may wonder why it’s necessary to wait until 6 weeks after the procedure since your vagina hasn’t been directly affected during the birth. But recovery from a C-section does not occur in a flash and there will a lot of tenderness around the entire abdominal area. You will need to set your own pace and convey any fear that crosses your mind to your partner. You can be nervous about indulging in this act after the baby is born, but that is normal. You will have to be mentally, as well as physically, prepared for intercourse, so give it time. Engaging in romantic talk, setting the mood, and most importantly, indulging in non-sexual foreplay like massages or even cuddling can go a long way in relaxing you before the actual act. Speak to your partner and later to your doctor, if you feel any unusual pain or extreme discomfort during post-caesarean sex.
Sex Positions You Should Avoid
Once the go-ahead is given by your doctor to have sex after your C-section, as a couple, you both will have to consider a few things before taking the plunge.
The missionary position is the one you should avoid as it could put a lot of pressure on the cut and this could hurt you. If you want to avoid any direct contact with the incision on your abdomen, use a side or rear entry position during intercourse. The woman-on-top position is also highly recommended to eliminate any worry about pressure on the incision.
Make sure you let your partner know about any pain or discomfort while trying any sex position. Do not try any new sex positions that you haven’t attempted before, during this time.
Some Useful Tips for Sex After Caesarean Delivery
It’s natural to feel worried about having sex after having had a C-section. You may be feeling tired or be genuinely worried about the pain it may cause. Also, there is an assumption that having a caesarean delivery relieves the vagina of any of the effects of a normal delivery. But that’s just a myth – the truth is, your vagina deals with quite a lot even when you have a C-section. Oftentimes, a C-section is called for in an emergency situation where a vaginal delivery doesn’t seem to be possible. This means that you might have pushed and exerted quite a bit of pressure on your vagina before undergoing surgery, which will affect it. Also, hormonal changes after childbirth can result in vaginal dryness as well.
So, here are some of the things you can do to make the experience easier for you:
For one, keep your expectations super low. It’s really not like riding a bike – having sex after having gone through a medical procedure, then waiting for a while, will have its effects. What you can do is use this opportunity to engage in other intimate activities. Spend some quality time together, cuddling and talking. You can also probably get your partner to massage you in an intimate way.
Choose comfortable positions during sex so that you can focus on the act itself than on any discomfort you may feel. If you feel like it is too soon or that you’re not comfortable, indulge in oral sex – this way, both of you can enjoy the process.
Brush aside any concerns about your body and how it looks, and take time to explore each other’s bodies. Initiating sex may be difficult for your partner too as he may be concerned about your well-being. Talk to him and assure him that you are ready for it.
Ensure that when you have sex, you use lubricants (lots and lots of it!), and to take it easy on yourself and your vagina as well!
Don’t Forget About Contraception!
You will be ovulating although your period wouldn’t have resumed yet, and therefore, it is very important to consider birth control methods. Speak to your doctor during your post-delivery appointment about the best ways of contraception to keep chances of immediate pregnancy at bay.
You will need loads of patience while dealing with this sensitive issue and a dash of humour will be helpful too. Expect an initial awkwardness and some inhibitions before your sex life returns to normal. For any abnormal pain or bleeding, quickly get in touch with your doctor for some timely advice about having sex after a C-section birth.
Also Read: Nursing After C-Section Delivery