For many couples, pregnancy sex provides one tremendous benefit: no need to worry about birth control. As long as both partners are STD-free, pills, condoms, and the like are not necessary. After all, that ship has sailed. But when you’re returning to a sex life postpartum, it’s time to get reacquainted with birth control. To that end, does sex with a condom feel different after having a baby? It may not be exactly the way you remember.
First, how does giving birth physically affect your sensations of penetrative sex? There are no hard and fast rules. As noted on the website for Women’s Health, current research about women’s sex lives after giving birth, either vaginally or via C-section, is limited, and what does exist tends to offer conflicting information. In general, it looks like women who keep up pelvic floor exercises fare better in terms of pelvic strength after delivery, which is related to orgasm. In addition, the vagina typically becomes drier when a woman is breastfeeding, so using lubrication is highly recommended, as noted by Sutter Health CPMC. Basically, post-delivery sex can feel very different from one person to another, and it can be difficult to predict your experience ahead of time.
So your vaginal area is probably sore, dry, and still healing from delivery. It’s no surprise if the idea of resuming sex, with a condom no less, is daunting. But that can be a mixed bag of experiences. According to Thought Catalogue, some women find condoms to be drying and uncomfortable, whereas others can’t tell much of a difference at all. Chances are, your own experiences with post-delivery condom use will be just as individualized. Maybe you’ll appreciate a (heavily lubed) condom during this time, maybe it won’t feel any different, and maybe it will be super uncomfortable. You won’t know until you try.
Is birth control even worth worrying about in the immediate postpartum phase? In a word, yes. As noted in Healthline, it’s tricky to predict the exact time ovulation will resume after delivery, so it’s smart to use some form of birth control in the postpartum period. If the condoms are not to your liking for whatever reason, chat with your physician about other birth control options available at this time.