Scenario: It's been a few weeks since you've given birth. Your postpartum recovery is going well and your doctor has given you the go-ahead to resume normal physical activity, including sex. One night, after putting the baby to bed, you grab your partner and let them know you're ready to go. After the initial excitement dies down, though, you begin to wonder if the kind of sex you two prefer having (the rough and tumble kind) is actually a good idea. You wonder, "is it safe to have rough sex six weeks after "natural" birth?
According to Cosmopolitan, some real women describe their first time having sex after giving birth as "rough," and not in the good way. From feelings of your body not belonging to you anymore, to hating your leaky boobs, to complications from a tear, postpartum sex can be unpleasant, uncomfortable, and even painful. Meanwhile, according to The Bump, jumping into sex too soon postpartum can cause further injury to lacerations that haven't healed yet or you can even risk infection. Plus, when it comes to the rough sex you really want, you may be afraid of causing yourself unnecessary pain.
Being afraid that rough sex will cause you to tear postpartum is natural, but is it actually safe otherwise? According to Men's Health, one thing to keep in mind about any kind of sex after giving birth is that vaginal lubrication can be a problem. As Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia Universit, told Men's Health ,the dryness of the vagina has nothing to do with a woman's arousal levels, but rather postpartum hormones. Breastfeeding suppresses the amount of estrogen in a woman's body, and that can lead to vaginal dryness.
"Have a water-based lube on hand that contains silicone for both comfort and lasting power," she advised.
According to the aforementioned The Bump article, sex after baby can be painful for some women, but not at all uncomfortable for others. If you want to try rough sex after giving birth, make sure that you are physically and emotionally ready for it. And be prepared for some pain and discomfort. Hutcherson recommended keeping plenty of lube on hand and sticking to woman-on-top positions, since they give you full control of the speed, depth, and angle of penetration.
It's also advisable to take it slowly. Start out with some vanilla sex and, assuming it doesn't hurt, move on to the rough stuff. There's no reason at all to keep you and your partner's sex life tame if that's not what you want, but use precautions to make sure you both enjoy the experience postpartum.