Pregnancy has been known to ramp up your sex drive at times, but that probably won’t be the case as your third trimester progresses. When you’re getting bigger and bigger, you’re likely not going to be too into the idea of having sex. That’s not to mention how busy you’ll probably be getting ready for baby – there might not be a lot of time to think about getting some bedroom action. But after you give birth, the prospect of having sex again might be a welcome distraction from your new mommy duties. However, no matter how much your partner may want it, you can’t just jump into it right away. Here’s what you need to know about having sex after giving birth.
Wait at least 3 weeks
Health care providers used to recommend waiting for at least six weeks before women had sex after giving birth. However, new evidence has found that many women can have sex after three weeks without any negative consequences. After giving birth, most women are sore, and their vaginas are in no shape for sexual activity. Up to 90 percent of first-time mothers who deliver vaginally will have torn tissue or an episiotomy. Those who undergo C-sections will also be sore. It takes time for the vagina to heal. The placenta also leaves a wound in the uterus when it comes out, and it takes about three weeks for the blood vessels to close up.
Read more: 4 sex surprises that happen during pregnancy
Tiredness and a slacking libido are also likely reasons why sex will have to wait a while. With a new baby to take care of, you’ll have a lot on your plate. You’ll need to get used to his or her schedule and make sure that all needs are met. You’ll be pretty exhausted, which isn’t exactly the best state to be in when it comes to sex. After the three week mark, it’s up to you to decide when you feel ready to get down to business with your partner. Talk to your health care provider to get his or her opinion.
Have fun in the meantime
Just because you can’t have penetrative sex doesn’t mean you can’t have any sexual fun whatsoever. For example, if your partner’s getting a little frustrated with the lack of sex, you can still aim to please with oral sex or a hand job. If you’re in the mood for a little action, ask your partner to give you a hand (literally) or use a vibrator to stimulate your clitoris. Just don’t let your partner perform oral sex on you or penetrate you – both activities aren’t safe until you’re fully healed. It could introduce infection to your vagina or womb, and air being pushed into the unhealed blood vessels could lead to a dangerous air embolism, which could be fatal.
When it comes down to it, it’s up to you and your doctor to figure out when the best time to start having sex is. He or she will have a good idea of when your body will be ready, and you’ll know when your mood is up to it.