For women who've gone through a traumatic birth, sex might be the furthest thing from their minds. Hell, it might make them cringe just thinking about wiping their vagina with toilet paper. But some women may be curious about how having a traumatic birth impacts their sex life. Specifically, one might ask, what does an orgasm feel like for a woman who had a traumatic birth? Can she even have one? Will it feel good? Will it hurt? It turns out, it's all of the above.
To start, it's worth noting that a woman may not orgasm at all following a traumatic birth. It's not her or her partner's fault; it's simply physiologically impossible. "Depending on the type of vaginal delivery a woman has, and also her pre and postpartum health, her experience with orgasm after birth can be affected," Beth Jones, a women's performance and recovery specialist, tells Romper. "The use of interventions, such as suction and forceps, and tearing or episiotomy can produce scar tissue that interferes with the muscles needed to reach climax." Additionally, Jones says damage to the pelvic floor can also make you less sensitive, especially if you haven't tried reconditioning programs like Kegels or pelvic floor physical therapy after child birth.
On the other hand, a woman may be able to experience an orgasm, but it may hurt. Many women in online threads report having severe cramping in their abdomens following postpartum orgasms. It's unknown whether or not these women had traumatic births, but because this appears to be a possibility for postpartum women it's added here.
Additionally, according to Baby Center, a woman's uterus contracts after giving birth back to her pre-pregnancy size (whether vaginal or C-section, traumatic or not), which is medically called "involution." But whether or not these shrinking cramps definitively cause the abdominal pain following an orgasm in the postpartum phase, is unknown and just speculation at this point.
But there's another possibility to consider: following your traumatic birth, your postpartum orgasm may be the best orgasm of your life. It sounds bizarre, I know, but the evidence is there.
Apparently the nerves that get damaged during a traumatic child birth become more sensitive, meaning it's possible that you could orgasm faster and more intensely. But it's more than new nerves — it's also psychology. "Since so much of a woman’s sexual response is mental, I have to believe our mind also drives this phenomenon," Dr. Sherry A. Ross, author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period tells Romper. "Knowing the vagina has exploded during child birth is mentally traumatizing, but knowing the clitoris has the ability to bounce back brings hope back into the bedroom. I suspect our mental strength is bringing back orgasmic fireworks."
Ultimately, your unique birth experience and body will determine how you orgasm following a traumatic birth. The good news is that if you don't like how the big O feels in that initial postpartum phase, it's probably temporary. A woman's body has to heal and all at different rates. This means sex can feel different for a little while or a long time. Sometimes there are permanent changes. No matter how it's feeling, it will be up to you and your partner to find ways to make modifications if needed and make it mutually pleasurable.