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Heather Jeffcoat at Verywell Family
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How Long After Pregnancy Can You Have Sex?

Wondering How Long After Pregnancy Can You Have Sex?

By Sara Lindberg, M.Ed

Your world changes drastically after having a baby. Feeling in the mood for sex may take some time for both you and your partner. And whether you’re dealing with a lack of sleep, hormonal ups and downs, painful recovery, postpartum depression, trouble connecting with your partner, or all of the above, trying to rush an intimate relationship can cause more trouble than its worth.

That’s why it’s important to ease back into this part of your life and educate yourself on what to expect. Here, we go over the recommended wait time, reasons why you might be experiencing painful sex, why it’s normal to not want to have sex right away, and tips for when you are ready.

Painful Sex After Pregnancy

Getting the all-clear from your doctor to resume sex doesn’t necessarily mean everything will go as planned. If this is your first experience with post-pregnancy intimacy, don’t be surprised if you feel both physically and emotionally different than you did before childbirth. This is completely normal.

According to a study published in BJOG, most women who resume sex by 12 months postpartum experience pain during their first vaginal sex encounter after childbirth. More specifically, dyspareunia or painful intercourse after childbirth was reported in 44% of women at three months postpartum, 43% at six months, and 28% at 12 months postpartum.

Women’s bodies are in a low-estrogen state, which means they will experience vaginal dryness and be producing less of their own natural lubricant,” says Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, owner of Femina Physical Therapy.

That’s why she says lubrication is a must for postpartum women resuming intercourse.

Plus, you may have vaginal scar tissue from the delivery, which can also create pain with penetration, Jeffcoat says.

Jeffcoat also points out that you may have hip, pelvic, or low back pain resulting from childbirth or taking care of a newborn. And pain can be an additional deterrent to intimacy.

Painful sex postpartum is a problem that often gets dismissed. If you are experiencing discomfort beyond what is expected, consider making an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist. They can address issues with scar tissue and muscle tension, make lubricant recommendations, and provide ideas for positions that may feel more comfortable.

For more on how long after pregnancy can you have sex, the full article can be found here.

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Testimonial by T.C.

While pregnant with my twins, Heather took care with keeping me on my feet and pain free. She saved my back, my sanity and the holidays! I would recommend her to every “mom” looking to stay on her feet during pregnancy and post-partum.

-- T.C.

Testimonial by R.D., age 38

"I had a severe tear during childbirth that was not stitched together correctly and therefore healed poorly. Even after having a surgery a year later to remove the scar tissue, I was still having pain, and no one could explain why -- there was no overt 'reason' to explain the pain. I had tried other 'specialists' and even saw another physical therapist who had me do hip / leg stretches -- what a joke! I was about to give up and just 'live with it' until thankfully I kept searching online and found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by R.D., age 38

Testimonial by S.S., age 54

Heather is the best! I saw her today for terrible hip/groin pain. I was so impressed with the safety measures in place and felt completely safe . Thanks for the healing hands.

S.S., age 54

Testimonial by M.M.

My husband and I were married for 5 years and unable to have intercourse, but I never knew why. After numerous awful experiences at doctor’s offices (where many doctors told me I “just needed to relax”), a surgery that didn’t fix the problem, and a year of owning dilators that didn’t get me anywhere, someone finally referred me to Heather for Physical Therapy. I finally had answers and information from someone who knew exactly what I was dealing with!

Read more: Testimonial by M.M.

Testimonial by Carolina J.

I had tried Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy before (with another PT) and I had a really bad (painful) experience. A friend of mine and fellow patient, told me about Heather, Laureen and Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) and I decided to try again. I am so happy I did! Femina PT have, literally, changed my life. I was able to do again things I couldn't do for over 10 years!! Their bedside manners are impeccable, their knowledge and understanding make me feel comfortable to recommend this place to anyone in pain. Specially if you have Endometriosis. 100% recommended!!

-- Carolina J., 12/28/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by J.B.

My husband and I were having problems with painful intercourse. My therapist recommended that I go and get a pelvic floor evaluation from a physical therapist. Having never been treated by a physical therapist, I wondered how this really was going to help me. My husband who is a physician was very supportive and agreed that a PT evaluation would be a great idea. So i made the appointment and was blown away by what I learned. I had no idea that pelvic floor muscles could get tight and have trigger points just like any other muscle in the body. I'm a massage therapist and very familiar with tight muscles, and this new thought really amazed me. Heather's program to help relax and strengthen these muscles made such a difference. I can say that I am 100% pain free during intercourse now. Yippee! Going to the PT appointments and doing the at-home exercises was definitely a discipline, but it's 100% worth it! The rewards are amazing.

-- J.B.

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