Sex after childbirth, the 6 most common problems and solutions

Who I am
Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
Author and references
Source: Contrasto

According to doctors, it is possible for new mothers to return to normal sex life a few weeks after giving birth (30-40 days, normally). However, the fact that it is "possible" does not mean that, in practice, it is really possible: between tiredness, exhaustion, a child to look after, the daily routine upset by the arrival of a new family member and (not least) the pain intimates that linger for some time yet, sex usually slips to the bottom of the priority list. If not of both parents, certainly at least in that of new mothers. And since, in a relationship, intimacy is also important to keep the relationship stable, abstinence risks (along with all the other upheavals that a baby brings with it) to make the couple break out.




Here then, elaborated by the whattoexpect.com site, are the six most common sexual problems after childbirth and the possible solutions.

Your partner feels like it, but you don't. Even if six weeks have passed since delivery and if the wound from the episiotomy (or cesarean) is now almost completely healed, you still don't want to have sex with your boyfriend. It is a rather normal situation: the hormones, which went crazy during pregnancy, are returning to normal but have not yet completely calmed down; the uterus is shrinking to return to its size, the wounds can be uncomfortable or painful. Plus you are tired, exhausted because a baby is a vacuum cleaner for mom's energy. Not to mention that the hormones that make breastfeeding possible lower libido.

The solution

"Take it easy", take it with philosophy. Talk to your partner about your sensations and feelings, and together try to find intimacy in other ways: kisses, caresses, cuddles. But it is important to reassure your him, explaining that your body is different now, but that everything will return to normal. And even your deso will go back to what it once was.

You feel like it, but you can't. Conversely, it can happen that the hormonal potpourri gives you back the deso long before your body is ready, especially if the pregnancy was a period of abstinence. The fact that the private parts are still painful at this point becomes a major obstacle.

The solution

Try talking to your gynecologist: if your postpartum discharge has stopped, your doctor may tell you that everything is fine and you don't need to wait for the usual 6 weeks. Otherwise, if bleeding is still present, you can risk infections.


The breasts are tight and sore. If you are breastfeeding, the breasts can be sore, heavy, and can be tremendously uncomfortable when stimulated. Not to mention that, after a day spent with the baby attached to the nipple, at least at night you would like your breasts to be left alone.

The solution

If it makes sex more comfortable, you can try wearing a bra or top. You can also try using a breast pump before sex to empty your breasts and make them less swollen and tender. However, keep in mind that these discomforts only happen at the beginning: as breastfeeding continues, the breasts become more numb and thus stop annoying when stimulated.

Sex is no longer the same. After giving birth, your vaginal muscles are more stretched and relaxed than before, which also affects the sensations you will experience during sexual intercourse. The differences, however, are subtle and, above all, temporary. And anyway, "different" does not necessarily mean "worse".

The solution

A great idea is to train the Kegel muscles, the same ones that you should have kept toned during pregnancy. Now that you've given birth, your pelvic floor muscles continue to be your best friend, and can help your vagina return to normal shape faster.

Sexual intercourse is bad. The hormonal changes that occur after childbirth can cause vaginal dryness, which is one of the causes of pain during intercourse. Breastfeeding also reduces vaginal lubrication, not to mention that pain may still be due to childbirth.

The solution

Stock up on intimate lubricants (strictly water-based) and explain to your partner how things are, so that it is as gentle as possible. If the pain is caused by inflammation from the episiotomy, cesarean, or vaginal lacerations, instead, take your time: a week or two and everything could fall into place on its own. If, on the other hand, you are in pain even when you are not making love, talk to your doctor: it could be an infection.


You don't like your body anymore. It takes a couple of months for the uterus to return to its natural size, during which time you will still look six months pregnant. And to go back to seeing in the mirror the silhouette you had before pregnancy, it could take you up to a year… while the stretch marks will remain as a souvenir.

The solution

Look at your little one, isn't it a wonder? It was your body that made that little miracle grow within itself, which is now in the world thanks to your tears and your blood. And then, let's face it: if your him still likes that body, why shouldn't you like it?

Updated on 18.06.2022

TAG:
  • couple life
add a comment of Sex after childbirth, the 6 most common problems and solutions
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.