Though sex is probably the furthest thing from your mind after giving birth, you will get to a place where you're ready to hop back in the sack with your partner. If you're looking to get intimate with your partner for the first time after you've given birth, you might be wondering, can your partner tell the difference in your vagina after giving birth? Everyone knows how incredible your vagina is, but is it incredible enough to snap back to its former shape after giving childbirth?
The truth is, there are a lot of variables when it comes to figuring out the way your vagina reacts to childbirth. The amount of stretching your vagina does depends on the size of your baby, method of delivery, how many babies you've had, and even your genetics. It's incredible that your vagina has the elasticity to expand enough to accommodate childbirth, and the ability to recoil and go back to business as usual. Though you might be worried that your vagina will never be the same (and technically, you'd be correct), according to What to Expect, it's very plausible that with time and pelvic floor exercises, your vagina can return to nearly the same shape it was in before you gave birth. What's even better is that depending on birthing circumstances, you may not even be able to feel or see a difference in your vaginal opening. And unless you experience a major trauma during the birthing process, your partner shouldn't notice much of a difference either.
But your vagina isn't going to snap back to its former glory without a little work on your part. In an interview with Women's Health, Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine, said kegels are key to reviving your vagina. "It really can help increase pressure and pelvic tone," Minkin said. "You shouldn’t panic right away, but it can take a few months." Minkin adds that stressing out about what sex will be like after you have a baby isn't worth it.
The National Health Service pointed out that shape and size of your vagina aren't the only things that can change after childbirth. Often times, your vagina will be dryer than usual. Hormone levels and breastfeeding can both affect the dryness of your vagina. If you're experiencing any dryness and are worried about getting back into the swing of things sexually, invest in a good lubricant to make things more comfortable for both you and your partner.
Though most practitioners recommend waiting at least six weeks after childbirth to attempt intercourse with your partner, Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University, told Men's Health that sometimes, it can be longer than that. "Whether the hurdles are physical or psychological, sex may not be comfortable for weeks or even months after a woman gives birth," Hutcherson said. What's most important is that you're comfortable. Rushing back into sex with your partner won't do either of you any favors, and it can be painful if done too soon. The stress of raising a baby can make the idea of getting back to intimacy a difficult one, but together with your partner, with time, kegels, love, and lube, you'll be able to find your way back to it.