Are You Physically Ready?

When it comes to resuming sex after giving birth, you've probably heard the six-week guideline. But that's just a rough estimate of when it might be okay for you to start having sex again. Some women may be ready earlier, and many women may need more time.

Bleeding

Generally, it's considered safe to start having sex again once your postpartum bleeding, or lochia, has stopped. This indicates that your uterus has healed and sex is no longer considered an infection risk. If you're still bleeding, it could mean that your cervix is still open, leaving your uterus vulnerable to bacteria.

Some women have stop-and-start lochia after a few weeks. If you stop bleeding at a few weeks postpartum, it doesn't necessarily mean that you've healed completely or that sex is a good idea. Check with your care provider to be sure.

Your Bottom

You'll also want to take your perineal area into consideration. If you had stitches, tearing, or an episiotomy, your perineum may be tender for weeks. Deep tears will take longer to heal than surface tears and you may need more time than the standard six weeks of healing. Even if your perineum or vaginal tissue doesn't feel sore during normal activity, sexual intercourse may be too uncomfortable or even painful to be enjoyable in the first couple of months. If you had a cesarean section, you'll need to make sure your incision is healing properly — no tenderness, oozing, or redness — before starting to have sex again, even if you've passed the six-week mark. If you aren't sure, ask your care provider.

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