Although sex may be the last thing on your mind in the postpartum months, at some point, every new parent asks when and how they should start having sex again. The specifics, however, may differ depending on how you delivered your baby. For example, do you have to wait longer to have sex after a vaginal delivery versus a C-section? Obviously, the answer will look different for every woman, just like how every pregnancy and labor looks differently for each woman.
According to the Mayo Clinic, sex after pregnancy is almost always a completely different animal than pre-pregnancy sex. Many women deal with vaginal soreness (even more so with a C-section in some cases, according to Fit Pregnancy), decreased lubrication, and lack of sexual desire as they recover from having a baby. But, as long as your doctor has given you the go-ahead to start trying, you can experiment with how and when sex feels best for you.
In an interview with Romper, Megan Davidson, a labor and postpartum doula, explains that there is a vast difference in the timeframe that women feel comfortable enough to have sex again regardless of whether they had a C-section of a vaginal birth. "The American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians says after about two weeks waiting is no longer primarily about risks (like infection) so the criteria after that should be entirely about a desire to have sex and how the sex feels," she says.
Although the type of birth will determine the recovery period most women are given the green light to try sex again after their postpartum checkup if, of course, it feels comfortable to them. "Although a vaginal birth can mean more vaginal healing than a Cesarean birth, I do not find a significant difference in when sex is desirable again among my clients based on their mode of delivery," Davidson explains. Like most areas of postpartum recovery, sexual desire will vary greatly from woman to woman. Some are ready to have sex after only a few weeks while others need to wait for months before trying again regardless of what kind of delivery they had.
Whether you delivered vaginally or via C-section, if you notice that your sexual desire has increased after giving birth but aren't comfortable with vaginal penetration just yet, Davidson also noted that it's probably best to experiment with other methods until you feel totally comfortable with vaginal sex again.