When can I have sex if I had a vaginal delivery?

Your Body & Wellbeing   |   Age: 27 days

When can I have sex if I had a vaginal delivery?

Most doctors will recommend not resuming vaginal intercourse until 6 weeks after delivery. This leaves time for any stitches or tearing to heal, and for a postnatal checkup with your healthcare provider. This timeline doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily feel ready to have intercourse again at this 6-week point, though. Neither does it mean your sex drive won’t be active sooner - your body is working on its own recovery timeline.

Before the 6-week mark

One of the biggest concerns about resuming penetrative intercourse after delivery is maternal discomfort. This is something you'll be able to judge better than your healthcare provider, or anyone else. The other common concern before 6 weeks is the risk of infection as your body is healing from delivery.

If your sex drive starts making itself known before your doctor recommends starting intercourse, you can check in with your provider about whether you’re good to go for oral sex and other forms of external stimulation. Chances are, he or she will tell you that as long as you keep it to the outside of your vagina or your clitoris, you’ll be fine. Just make sure to keep any stitches or healing tissue clean, because the human mouth carries a lot of bacteria which could lead to an infection.

Once your doctor says you’re good to go

You still might not be in the mood. Which is totally normal, as it could take months for your hormones to return to where they were before your pregnancy, and they won’t be the same as they were while you were pregnant, either. They could take even longer to return to normal if you’re breastfeeding, since the hormonal changes that happen during breastfeeding can affect your sex drive.

When you do start having intercourse again, your breasts may leak milk. If you and your partner are fine with this, that’s great, as it’s a perfectly natural hormonal response. If you and your partner aren’t comfortable, you can wear breast pads or have sex immediately after feeding your baby. This might be a good idea in any case, because after she has eaten, she may be less likely to interrupt you.

Even if you feel totally ready to have sex again, your vagina might be drier than you’re used to (even when you’re turned on). That’s another natural hormonal response to recent childbirth, and is something you can manage by using a personal lubricant.

Speaking of your vagina, it may not be in exactly the same shape as the last time you did this, and you may feel some pain the first time you have intercourse, whether you jump right back in as soon as your healthcare provider gives you the go-ahead or you decide to wait a while. It’ll slowly heal on its own, though, over time, and if you want to help with the recovery process, kegel exercises can help.

What about birth control?

Most forms of birth control are perfectly safe after pregnancy. However, if you're breastfeeding, hormonal birth controls that use estrogen as well as progestin may decrease your milk supply. On the other hand, hormonal birth control that uses only progestin shouldn't cause any problems. Your healthcare provider will be able to discuss which type of birth control is right for you, which may include progestin-only hormonal birth control, like the pill or implants, or non-hormonal birth control like condoms or copper IUDs.

If you think you might be ready to start thinking about a sibling for your baby, or even if you're not, but think you might at some point, now is a great time to start tracking your cycle with Ovia Fertility!

Above all, it’s important to listen to your body. You’ll be able to feel it when you're ready - and if you don’t feel ready, there’s no need to rush.


More articles at this age

What is post-adoption depression?

Life as a new parent is full of challenges, and this is just as true for parenting an adopted child.

When can I have sex if I had a C-section?

Many C-section moms assume they can pick their sex lives up right where they left off, but this really isn't the case. So, how soon is too soon?

Lactation graham crackers with cinnamon almond butter

A delicious, nutritious treat designed to boost your energy and your supply.

Food allergies in the first two months

Food allergies are very rare in children too young to eat solid foods, but in some cases, they are possible, and it's important to identify them early on.

Is it possible to spoil a newborn?

Nobody wants a spoiled child, so many parents take care to make sure that this doesn't happen. But is it really possible for somebody born less than four weeks ago to be spoiled?

How can I recognize postpartum depression?

Feeling a bit down in the postpartum period is very common, but there are some differences between the "baby blues" and postpartum depression that every new mom should know.

Welcome to lil'bee!

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's okay. Who doesn't? But without advertising-income, we can't keep making this site awesome. Please disable your ad blocker and refresh this page.

Thanks for understanding 🙏