When can you have sex after a cesarean?
Even if you haven’t pushed a baby out of your vagina, sex is probably the last thing on your mind after a cesarean. Sleepless nights and a crying baby don’t really make a sexy soundtrack.
Plus, your hormones literally shut down your mojo: “The flow of maternal hormones entering the system helps bond between mother and baby and usually suppresses sexual desire for the first few weeks or so,” says Nicole Williams, MD, founder of the Chicago Institute of Gynecology.
But one day, this urge to do it will come back.
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And then comes the next hurdle: is it really safe to have sex right now? After all, you just had serious surgery. This is why you will need to take a few precautions before going horizontal.
Sex After Cesarean: How Long Is It Too Early?
Allow six to eight weeks of absence from sex, Williams says. “The big reason is that you just had Major surgery, which passes through all the layers of the abdomen to reach the uterus. All of these layers, especially the muscle layers, need to heal, ”she explains.
Sex is a workout that recruits your heart, and you need to give it time to mend. As Williams points out, the uterus is also a muscle. “When it’s still enlarged and you have an orgasm, it can cause cramps by releasing certain hormones that stimulate it,” she adds. In addition, vigorous activity can reopen an incision. (If that happens, immediately stop what you’re doing, of course.)
But what if it’s really uncomfortable?
Since a baby has not come out of your vagina, you can count on this part to feel the same during sex. But your heart may be sore at first, Williams says. This is perfectly normal.
That said, be careful how you feel during sex. If things are uncomfortable, stop. Sex has to be pleasurable, otherwise it’s not worth it. Williams advises to wait another week and try again.
What are the safest positions?
Write this one down: the docs call it “rear lateral vaginal entry,” but you can call it spoon sex. Lie on your side with it behind you like the big spoon.
It’s great, Williams says, because there’s no pressure from the missionary and you don’t have to flex your abs like you do when you’re on top.
Oh yes, and just a friendly reminder for when you get back in the saddle: it’s possible to get pregnant again as soon as possible. Williams says a woman’s fertility returns soon after birth, and “I have had more than one patient who came back pregnant for their six week visit.”
If in doubt, consult your doctor.
Williams asks her patients to come back after just two weeks to talk about future birth controls, postpartum issues, or cesarean recovery issues. If this is not the protocol with your gynecologist, ask if it is possible to get an appointment earlier.
And, who knows, you might be given the green light to have certain types of sex. “If her abdominal incision healed well, I would have no problem saying okay with other types of sexual activity like oral sex before the six to eight week mark, ”says Williams.
Hey, doctor’s orders!
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