Sex after Cesarean delivery (C Section delivery)
If you have delivered a baby by undergoing a C-section delivery, you might be wondering when you can resume having sex and how it would feel like. If not you, your partner might be having such questions. Before getting into the details and a conclusion, what you need to know is, you should understand your body and what it is saying. When it is ready for sex, it will automatically lubricate your vagina and gets it ready for penetrative sex. If not, you can note that your body isn’t yet ready for sex.
When is it the right time to have sex after a cesarean delivery?
There is no particular time or a benchmark kind of thing to tell when a woman’s body is ready to have sex. It varies from person to person. Most women get ready (physically) after 6 weeks while very few women may take many months postpartum. Whether you deliver the baby naturally through the vagina or by undergoing a C section, the vagina bleeds as it contracts after removing the baby. However, the amount of bleeding may be more in those who gave birth naturally because, in the case of C-section women, most blood would be lost when the incision is made. Also, the cervix expands in both types of delivery and it needs around 6 weeks to contract and return to normal.
If you think you are fine, recovered, and ready to have sex, it is advisable to speak to your gynecologist once and get a go from him or her. Note that, having sex postpartum is not just a physical thing, it is mental too. If you are worried thinking how it feels like or how the incision site might become after sex, your vagina may not lubricate enough, making intercourse a painful experience. As a result, you may abstain from sex for longer periods which can hurt your relationship with your partner. In such cases, it is best to talk to your gynecologist and ask all the questions you may have so that, you can prepare yourself mentally for a good experience in bed after a decent break. Very rarely, some women never feel like having sex postpartum.
Care to be taken during recovery from C section delivery
- The incision made in the abdominal area can be vertical or horizontal depending on the case. Most of the time, when it is not an urgent delivery, a horizontal cut will be made under the belly button.
- A vertical incision is more painful and may take longer to heal than a horizontal cut made to deliver the baby.
- The stitches will be removed after a week and the outer part of the body should have healed by then. However, the inner parts of the reproductive system take longer to heal. It should be quite understandable that the expansion of uterus and the cervix happened for 9 months during pregnancy.
- During this period, vagina can bleed, lightly for some and a little heavily for others. This is due to the contraction of the uterus and cervix while they are on their way to return to normal.
- Once the stitches are removed, you should not be feeling any pain at the incision site. You should also not see any abscess forming or leakage of blood or other fluids from the incision site. Leakage of fluids from the incision area, running a fever are confirmatory signals that the site is infected and you need to take antibiotics prescribed by your gynecologist.
- After first two weeks, it is advisable to perform Kegels Exercise. Kegels exercise is to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and it can help in reducing the risk of urinary incontinence. Most women have urinary incontinence (leakage of urine involuntarily) after delivering the baby. This is due to weakening of abdominal muscles during pregnancy and delivery. You must strengthen them after delivery so that you can avoid possible prolapse issues by maintaining strong pelvic muscles.
Getting ready to have sex postpartum
If you are mentally ready to have sex after C-section delivery, just make sure that your gynecologist. If your body too is ready, you will see that your vagina gets wet while you are in mood of getting intimate. If your vagina is not ready, it may not lubricate enough. In such case, you must use a water based lubricant to make the act less painful. Check with your doctor on what lube to try in case of painful sex.
If you are not planning to go for another baby, check with your doctor if you can start/resume birth control methods. Your gynecologist will be the right person to let you know which birth control method is right for you. Options range from everyday pill, emergency contraception, hormonal and non hormonal IUDs, hormonal patches etc apart from using physical barriers such as condoms or diaphragms.
It is advisable not to put pressure on the abdominal area and if your abdomen starts to hurt after sex and the pain does not recede, get in touch with your gynecologist immediately.
- There is no fixed waiting time for any woman to have sex after undergoing C-section delivery.
- Whether C-section delivery or a natural one, uterus and cervix take six weeks to heal and return to normal.
- If your vagina is not lubricating when you are aroused, it can indicate that your body isn’t yet ready for fun and you need to talk to your doctor.
- Use water-based lubricant if you are having painful sex.
- Start Kegels exercise ASAP!