Most women need to wait at least 6 weeks before having sex after a C-section, or until their doctor or midwife says it is safe. They may also need to take a few precautions and make some adjustments to their sexual activities in the short term.
A C-section, also known as a cesarean delivery, involves a doctor delivering a baby through a long incision in the abdomen instead of through the vagina. An estimated one in four pregnant women will undergo a C-section, and questions about how it affects postpartum sexual activity are very common.
In this article, we address some common concerns, including how long to wait, what to expect, and if there will be an increased risk of bleeding.
How long to wait
While there is no standard amount of time a woman should wait before returning to regular sexual activities following their C-section, it is best to wait until a doctor says it is safe. Most women get the OK from doctors at their 6-week postnatal checkup and may choose to start having sex after this point. In a 2013 study that included more than 1,500 women, 53 percent had attempted sexual activity within 6 weeks of giving birth. Of these women, 41 percent had tried vaginal sex. Everyone’s recovery is different, and the pace may depend on whether the C-section was extensive or unplanned.
Many women who have undergone a C-section chose to wait at least 4–6 weeks before having sex because they experience soreness, vaginal bleeding, and fatigue following the birth. Women should also avoid wearing tampons until postpartum bleeding, or lochia, is complete.
After a doctor says that it is safe to try sexual activity, people may still need to take some precautions to reduce the risk of complications. There may be some soreness and swelling around the incision site, and the surrounding skin may feel tight or stretched. As the incision site heals, it will also be more prone to tearing, so it is essential to avoid strenuous activities, including some sexual activities. It is best to avoid lifting anything heavier than the baby.
There is also usually heavy bruising along and around the incision site, and this will slowly fade in the weeks following the surgery. A doctor may remove the surgical staples before a woman leaves the hospital, but the abdomen will still be very sore and tender for a few weeks. The vagina usually feels wider, swollen, or bruised after giving birth. The cervix also needs time to heal and return to its regular size before a person can start having sex or using tampons again. Anyone who has recently undergone a C-section should watch out for signs of infection and other complications. These signs include:. …………. Continue Reading………