Recovering from a cesarean childbirth is often difficult and painful, and starting intimate activities again is likely not a priority. Still, at some point you will want to know when you can have sex again and how uncomfortable or painful that may be. You may think it will be easier to resume sex because you did not deliver your baby via the birth canal, however, that may not necessarily be true.
When Can I Have Sex After C-Section?
There is not a set time frame for when a woman can start having sex again after having a C-section, but most usually wait at least four to six weeks to recover.
When a person has a cesarean delivery, she will have an incision in their lower abdomen near her hip bones, which will need some time to heal. This surgical incision will probably cause pain and be tender to the touch. It’s best to have a doctor examine the incision a few weeks after giving birth first, and you can even ask them about sex. If the incision is not fully healed or infected, you may need additional treatment and have to delay having sex.
Also, even if you don’t have as much bleeding as you would with a natural delivery, it will still take up to six weeks for your cervix to close completely. Having sex before then would likely be uncomfortable.
You will also likely have some bleeding after your C-section, which is called lochia. This blood is coming from the uterus, where the placenta was attached to the uterine wall. This bleeding could happen from four to six weeks after having a C-section.
Even if you feel ready to have sex, you'd better ask your doctor about ‘when can I have sex after C-section’ to make sure it won’t disrupt the healing process.
More Common Asked Question About Sex After C-Section
Will it hurt?
It could. Your body’s hormones change after giving birth, especially if you’re breast feeding, which can make your vagina dryer than normal. Then this may require the use of a lubricating cream.
Will it feel different?
Even though you did not give birth the traditional way, sex may still feel different from what you were used to. Your cervix is still likely dilated, and will need time to go back to normal.
Any tips for having sex for the first time after C-section?
Remember the following tips:
Be sure to take it slow and when you’re asking yourself ‘when can I have sex after C-section’, be sure to listen to your body. If you’re in pain, discomfort, or don’t feel ready, it’s okay to do it later.
Take some over-the-counter pain medication beforehand if you are worried about pain.
If vaginal sex ends up being too painful, it may be best to alternate to oral or manual sex until you are fully healed.
Try different positions that may be less painful on your incision.
Don’t be surprised if your first attempt is not successful -- your body went through a lot of changes and is still healing and adjusting. Both you and your partner should have plenty of patience throughout this process.
What if I'm too tired to have sex?
You will likely be exhausted from taking care of a newborn, who does not have a regular sleep schedule and needs to eat at all hours of the day and night. This will likely mean you might be too tired to have sex around bedtime. Talk with your partner about finding a time in the day where you both can spend some time alone and won’t be exhausted.
What if I'm not interested in sex?
That’s alright -- you may not feel attractive after having a baby or you might be concerned it will hurt. You can share intimate moments with your partner in other ways, and work your way up to having sex again. Make sure to keep communication open with them, as to not cause any long-term conflicts in your relationship.
What can I do to boost my sex drive?
Make sure you set realistic expectations as you recover from your C-section. Be sure to take good care of yourself by eating healthy and exercising when you can. Ask for help when you need it, particularly to get enough rest. You will likely stop asking ‘when can I have sex after C-section’ when you feel you are ready.