- You can only have sex six weeks after giving birth
While it is generally true that doctors advise waiting for about six weeks before having sex again, this doesn't apply to all women. Some women might be ready earlier (but be aware that sex too early could lead to infections), and others will take longer than six weeks. Either is okay – take as much time as you need and don't rush things if you are not ready yet.
- Sex won't hurt
Many women will feel some pain and discomfort the first time (or the first few times) they have sex again. That's because there might have been trauma around the vaginal area during childbirth and it needs some time getting used to sex again. On the other hand, there are women who experience no pain. So give it a try, and if there is too much pain, you might need to wait a bit longer or try ways that are not painful.
- Everything will be as it was before
Sorry, that’s not true. You might need some lubricant at first if you don’t get wet enough, or you may feel some pain. Your sex drive could change as well. And the vagina will have changed a bit, so sex might feel different than it did before.
All this is normal and nothing to be too concerned about. Talk to your partner, and work out ways that are okay for both of you. And keep doing Kegel exercises – that will help with some of the changes.
- Sex will never be as satisfying as it once was
No, that's a myth! Sex will be different, but that doesn't mean it will be less satisfying. You have to work with your partner to make sure that you can cope with the changes, and find new ways to satisfy each other if the old ways don't do it for you anymore.
- You won't need to worry about birth control if you just had a baby
Breastfeeding can indeed be a good contraceptive method, but it doesn't work for everyone, and it's not reliable, particularly if you aren't exclusively breastfeeding. So if you are not planning on having another baby anytime soon, sort out your birth control methods before starting to have sex again.
- Women are the only ones who need time
False! Many men need time to start wanting to have sex again, as well. Some feel guilty for putting their partners through the pain of childbirth; others feel unsure of how to initiate things again without pressuring. If you have any doubts or fears, talk to your partner!
- The penis could damage the cervix
That's a myth, thankfully! As long as you are ready and go slowly, and use extra lubrication if needed, there is no risk of the penis damaging the cervix (or other parts for that matter), while having sex.
- Breastfeeding doesn't affect sex
It might, actually. It could cause some hormonal changes that make sex different altogether, but it can also bring surprises – it's not unusual to lose some milk during sex. If you are uncomfortable with that, you could leave your bra on. Or have a good laugh because sex is so much better if you can laugh together at the unexpected!
This article was first published on 8th May, 2015.