Sex after giving birth

Resuming sex

Most couples do not start having sex again earlier than four weeks after birth, and at the end of the first year, the majority – close to 60% – report they’re less active than they used to be. A loss of desire is common in both sexes, especially women.

Fatigue is one of the most important factors in this – if you’re too tired, it’s hard to feel aroused. Some women feel unhappy with their bodies after pregnancy and childbirth, and this makes them feel unattractive and less sexy.

If you feel pain during intercourse, perhaps because stitches from an episiotomy have not healed well, then this is bound to put you off, too. These internal stitches can take up to four months to heal, but if you are concerned you should speak to your doctor about this.

Issues around sex

  • If you feel you have no interest in sex after giving birth, and it worries you, or it’s affecting your relationship, then speak to your doctor. Bear in mind that it’s normal for things to take a while to get back to the way they once were.
  • Are you confident in your contraception? If you don’t want to get pregnant again, and you want to be sure of this, you may want to choose a different method of contraception. You’ll be asked about this at your six-week postnatal check.
  • Post-pregnancy hormonal changes and breastfeeding can cause vaginal dryness, which may also cause pain during sex.
  • Experiment with non-penetrative sex. This can often be a way of easing yourself back to the way things were. If you have had a long or difficult birth, penetration might be exactly what you don’t want. Yet there are lots of other good things to enjoy!

Chat to other mums and dads on the Huggies Forum about their experience after the birth of their baby.

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