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Anal Sex & Your Postpartum Body

Postpartum sex is a common topic of curiosity whether you've had a vaginal birth, a planned C-section, or a traumatic delivery. As a result, many people want to know when it's safe to have sex again. Often, the dialogue and questions are about vaginal penetration, but that's obviously not the only type of sex you can have. What about the back door? Some people who are into anal may wonder, is it safe to have anal sex six weeks after C-section? You may be in the clear, but there are some important things to consider prior to giving it a whirl.

"The first few days and weeks after a C-section are definitely the most challenging since the body is going through a major physical and hormonal transition," Dr. Sherry A. Ross, women's health expert and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period, tells Romper in an interview. "You are recovering from having gone through a major surgery, although it doesn’t feel that way since you were awake during the entire time." During this recovery process you are taking care of yourself, taking care of your baby, and you're navigating life as a new mom (with no presumably no sleep). This is all monumental work, and sometimes the healing process takes much longer than you might've thought. That being said, anal sex can happen postpartum for moms who had C-sections, but you will definitely want to take it slow.

"If you have had anal sex prior to pregnancy you can safely resume anal sex again after six weeks," Ross says. "If it’s your first time exploring the back door you may want to wait nine months until your body is recovered from nine months of pregnancy."

Beyond being incredibly gentle with yourself, you should also take note if you have hemorrhoids. According to Web MD, hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum or anus. There is no particular rhyme or reason as to why some women get them and others don't. "Hemorrhoids can occur just by being pregnant due to the weight and position of the baby," Lamaze certified childbirth educator Deena Blumenfeld of Shining Light Prenatal Education tells Romper. Before trying anal sex post C-section, you'll want to make sure that you don't have hemorrhoids that are particularly painful or at risk for tearing. The only way to be sure is to have a doctor give you an exam and ask lots of questions.

As embarrassing as it might be for some, it's the only way to be safe about getting into anal sex in the postpartum phase. Additionally, you'll want to be up front with your partner. "Know your body and your mind and if you choose to have anal sex, take it slow and have good communication with your partner," Blumenfeld recommends.

One other important factor to consider is your emotions. "Physically you may be healed to start to feel sexual and get back on the saddle, but mentally you may not be." As mentioned, you have a lot of new changes to get used to as a new mom and many more tasks to juggle. It doesn't matter whether you delivered vaginally or via C-section — your hormones will be out of control. According to What To Expect, your estrogen is taking a nose dive and your prolactin (the hormone that makes milk) is surging. The not-so-sexy result is a very rocky, possibly non-existent or lessened sex drive. Then there's just the logistics of anal sex, especially if you're just getting into it. "For many women, having anal penetration with the penis is painful, even if adequately lubricated," Ross says. "Since being mentally prepared for anal sex is half the battle you may need to allow yourself more than six weeks to resume anal sex since the postpartum time is mentally challenging."

Generally speaking, anal sex is safe six weeks after a C-section, but you'll really want to take it slow. Your body has just been through nine months of pregnancy and major abdominal surgery. The first time you do it be sure to have a lot of patience, use a whole lot of lubricant, and take breaks in between attempts if needed.