Everything To Know About Having Sex (When You're Ready) After A Miscarriage
Whether you’re planning to try again or not, your body needs time to recover.
The range of emotions that follow a miscarriage can take a toll. After a pregnancy loss, you might seek a connection with your partner, but being intimate again can also be a challenge — physically and emotionally. Because of this, knowing how long to wait to have sex after a miscarriage can be tricky. Recovering from this loss and returning to physical intimacy is not just about your body, it’s about your heart and your relationship, too.
Miscarriage recovery looks a little different for everyone
Experts say that the typical recovery time after a miscarriage is about two weeks, but note that every person’s body heals differently. The timing of a miscarriage — how far along you are when it happens — can also impact how long recovery takes.
“You should avoid putting anything into the vagina, including tampons and douching, as well as penetrative intercourse, until your bleeding has stopped — which usually indicates the cervix has closed,” board-certified OB-GYN, Dr. Benjamin DiJoseph, tells Romper. “This will help to prevent an infection in the uterus, and usually occurs within two weeks.”
Take your time, especially if you’ve had a D&C
With some miscarriages, physicians need to perform a surgical procedure called a dilation and curettage (D&C) to remove tissue to clear the uterine lining.
“If you’ve had a D&C, you should still wait the recommended two weeks to have sex again,” DiJoseph tells Romper. “Because a D&C completely empties your uterus, you may bleed for less time than if you had a complete miscarriage. However, you should still wait the recommended two weeks to have sex. Depending on the specifics of your situation, your health care provider may recommend additional time for healing if needed.”
While experts agree that waiting the recommended two weeks before having sex after a D&C is ideal, some women may want to wait longer. “Recovering from a D&C can be painful and the risk of infection is higher during acute recovery,” birthing educator, doula, and author Sara Lyon says. “It’s important to monitor your abdomen for pain, your bleeding for changes in color and volume, and your cervix for pain.”
After a D&C, Lyon explains that you may experience some tenderness or soreness, so waiting for that to subside is also recommended before jumping back into penetrative sex. “If you’re still sore, wait until you’re feeling totally healed before having intercourse again,” she says. “There are so many ways to be sensual, to be nurtured, and to be sexual that don’t involve penetration — this would be a great time to lean into foreplay and the main course.”
When to start birth control again after a miscarriage
After a miscarriage, some couples want to wait before trying to conceive (TTC) again. Your doctor may also advise waiting, but again, every person’s experience will be different. If you want to have sex, but aren’t ready to get pregnant again, DiJospeh says it’s OK to start taking birth control again immediately.
As Romper previously reported, ovulation isn’t usually impacted by miscarriage, so your cycle will likely pick right back up, meaning that birth control is necessary to prevent pregnancy.
Make sure you’re emotionally ready to have sex after a miscarriage
In addition to waiting the requisite two weeks (or more) for your body to heal and recover, DiJoseph urges people who are recovering from a miscarriage to consider emotional readieness, too. “You may need to grieve your loss before you can be intimate and have sexual intercourse.”
Even when your body is technically ready, your emotions may not be. Experts say it’s a good idea to check in with yourself and your partner before having sex again. “This is just as much an emotional issue as a physical one, and our emotions are largely governed by our hormones in this case,” Lyon explains. “If someone is grieving a pregnancy, that can lead to an increase in libido or it can lead to decreased libido — it’s unique to each person and situation.” Listen to yourself, talk to your partner, and trust that however you feel is completely valid. And if you need help with processing the loss, don’t hestitate to seek mental health support. Your OB-GYN or health care provider may be able to help you find a mental health provider who specializes in reproductive health.
“I’ve seen grief pull people closer together,” says Lyon. “I’ve also seen women reject their partners for some time because they need to be more internal, spending time healing and being nurtured rather than physical and interactive.”
Sara Lyon, birthing expert, doula, author of The Birth Deck and You’ve Got This: Your Guide to Getting Comfortable with Labor
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