Deciding to have sex after a C-section birth (or any birth for that matter) is a very individual decision. Some women feel ready to jump in the sack before the doctor gives the green light. Others require weeks or months for a mom to be ready again. It depends on your body, hormones, and how much trauma you experienced during pregnancy or child birth. If you decide to give sex a whirl there may be some weird things that happen during sex after a C-section. However, it's nothing to panic about.
A C-section is no joke and it is considered major abdominal surgery. The Mayo Clinic explained that doctors have to cut through a person's abdomen and uterus to deliver the baby. C-sections are most often performed when the mother or baby's life is at risk, if there are multiples, or if a woman has had one previously (although you don't have to have a c-section if you've had one before, according to What To Expect). Doctors tell women they can have sex about six weeks after delivery, according to the Mayo Clinic, but everyone's body heals at different rates.
I had two C-sections in less than two years because my daughters (who were obviously quite close in age) were both considered low birth weight. I healed relatively fast from the first C-section, but the second one took a full year. I remember barely being able to vacuum or cough without feeling like my insides would fall out of my stomach. The few times I tried to have vaginal sex it was uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful.
Whether you have a fast recovery or a slower one there are still some bizarre things that might happen during sex after a C-section. Generally speaking, if you experience any of these eight things you don't need to be alarmed.
1. You May See Blood Or Discharge
I remember thinking after my C-section that it was weird to be bleeding from my vagina when my baby didn't come through there. Lochia, or postpartum vaginal bleeding and discharge is a mix of blood, uterine tissue, and bacteria, according to The Baby Center. The site explained that all women get it whether they delivered vaginally or not. Lochia usually subsides or lessens as you heal, but as Women's Health Advice noted adding physical activity to your postpartum life again like exercise and sex around the six week mark might cause you to see lochia again. The site advised women to call their doctor if they have heavy bleeding and other symptoms like a fever, as it may be something more serious.
2. Sex Might Hurt Your Vagina
Even though you didn't deliver through your vagina, your lady parts may be sore and possibly too sore for sex. According to What To Expect your vagina through pregnancy and labor has stretched like crazy. There are bound to be things in there that have shifted a bit and are possibly still healing.
Easing into sex after a C-section (or any delivery) is key. You can always try another position, oral sex, or masturbation to play around with how much penetration you can handle. Or you can simply take a break if it hurts too much and try again when you feel ready.
3. You'll Likely Have Cramping At The Incision Site
According to Fit Pregnancy your uterus is contracting and going back to it's original size during those first four to six weeks postpartum which could account for some cramping. But what I'm talking about here is more anecdotal among mothers who've had C-sections. It's unclear what causes the pain as it could be a result of several healing issues. I too had cramping right at my scar site and it seemed to be more intense when I tried to have sex. Again, taking a break from vaginal intercourse or changing positions might help women who are experiencing this weird sensation.
4. Your Scar Might Make You Self-Conscious
A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2010 found that positive body image was associated with better sexual health in women.
I had never been a woman that was self-conscious about my body. Sure, I had hang ups but nothing I obsessed over. To go from body confident to body conscious was a weird and disheartening feeling. I absolutely hated and obsessed over my C-section scar in those immediate months and years after giving birth. I was also upset about my baby weight and just overall squishy and doughy physique. As a result of my insecurities I never initiated sex.
5. You Might Like New Positions Better
Exploring sex after giving birth can be weird mainly because it can be awkward and you may feel like a novice, especially if you're trying something new. If you have a revved up sex drive it might be time to go on a little sexual adventure. Women's Health explained that women find being in control of the penetration and sexual sensations makes for a more pleasurable experience, in particular, for women who've experienced a traumatic delivery or for postpartum women in general.
6. You Might Have Back Pain After Sex
Sometimes sex can be core (and booty) intensive, which can really put your abs and back to work. The problem here is that your abdomen was quite literally cut open by a C-section and those muscles need to heal before doing anything strenuous.
According to Pregnancy Info, overextending the pelvic muscles can really hurt your spinal bones which are still healing as well, resulting in postpartum back pain. Taking care of an infant is about the worst time to have an injury so it might be a good idea to save acrobatic sex for when you're fully healed.
7. The Area Around Your Scar May Be Tingly
Can't feel anything in the area between your belly button and your vagina? Apparently that's not weird, it's normal (but it still feels weird) for C-section moms. According to Fit Pregnancy the area around your incision could be numb for six months or longer because of possible nerve damage caused by the surgery. If your partner is touching you around this area it might feel tingly, although probably not in a really pleasurable way. From my experience it's more like a frost bite feeling.
8. You Might Never Want To "Do It" Again
If you were a sex goddess who suddenly has zero sexual desires after having a baby via C-section it may feel strange for you, but it's certainly not abnormal. Baby Center explained that there are several reasons for dwindling sex drive after childbirth includin: pain, exhaustion, and fluctuating hormones (your hormones are literally haywire). If you don't want to have sex after your C-section for awhile that's OK. There are other ways to be intimate that don't involve sex.
Whatever so-called weird sensations or feelings that come up during sex after your C-section, either physically or emotionally, know that they're probably pretty normal and you're not alone. Women are irreversibly changed after having a baby and there's no need to rush into anything you feel weird about.