I don't know about you, but when my pregnancy ended is when the questions really began. I was dealing with my newborn's constant demands, was tired as hell, and my body was definitely different. So to say I was left wondering what the hell was going on, and what was next, would be a gross understatement. I know I'm not the only mom to feel this way, regardless of how we've all given birth. So if you're recovering from a Caesarean and asking yourself, "Can you have sex sooner after a C-section?" know that you're in pretty good company. After all, just because we've made the decision to reproduce doesn't mean our needs and desires go out the proverbial window.
Sex might not be on your mind directly after you bring a human being into the world, but eventually (probably) it will start to be more of a priority. According to Parents, you could resume sex in about six weeks after giving birth. It seems to be a good rule of thumb for recovery regardless of how you've given birth, though it's especially true for vaginal deliveries. Dr. Pari Ghodsi, M.D. of Obstetrics and Gynecology and women's health expert, adds that the six-week rule helps a women recover from the trauma of vaginal delivery, including lowering the risk of additional tearing.
Fit Pregnancy, however, reminds soon-to-be moms that there's the risk of tearing during postpartum sex if you've had a C-section, too, (C-section scars, anyone?), so a postpartum woman recovering from a C-section might need to wait longer than the usually recommended six weeks before having sex safely and comfortably, depending on how her scar is healing.
Women who've had C-sections — which the Mayo Clinic defines as a "surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through incisions in the mother's abdomen and uterus" — usually follow the same recovery guidelines for a vaginal birth, but with a subset of protocol. "Typical" healing methods and timeframes aren't always the same, because the method of delivery is different and, as a result, alters a different part of the woman's body.
Basically, you could get busy sooner than six weeks after a c-section if your scar is healing properly. But, again, it's only if you and your body are ready. While the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) sides with the six-week rule, different doctors may suggest different timeframes after assessing how your body is healing, too. In other words, it's best to consult with your healthcare provider before getting busy.
After you give birth your uterus shrinks back down to it's pre-pregnancy size, and your cervix tires to close, which is why it's recommended you avoid sex before both have happened and regardless of how you delivered your baby. Dr. Laura Riley, Director of Labor and Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of You & Your Baby: Pregnancy, tells The Bump that, aside from healing, "you should be completely back on your feet, no longer bleeding, have had a conversation about birth control, and started taking birth control" before you start having postpartum sex.
While the general consensus seems to be that you should wait six weeks, or more, after a C-section to resume sex, different recommendations may apply to different postpartum women. So again, and always, it's best to consult with your OB-GYN during one of your postpartum appointments before resuming any sexual activity. Better safe than sorry, right?