Sex after delivery might be the last thing on your mind, but you need to renew your intimacy with your partner. Whether you gave birth naturally (vaginally) or by caesarean section your body, vagina and mind needs time to heal. Many health providers recommend mothers to wait for about 3-6weeks before resuming sex. Fear of pain, fatigue, stress, another pregnancy and infection are all factors contributing to low sexual drive. Between three to six weeks, a new mother would have stopped bleeding and all wounds would have been healed. Also, the mother would be very comfortable, once the birth is over and she has returned to her home environment. When the woman is readjusting physiologically and psycho-socially to motherhood, emotional responses may be just as intense and powerful for experienced as well as new mothers.
After vaginal delivery, decreased muscle tone in the vagina might reduce pleasurable friction during sex but this is temporal and will resolve after some weeks. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which support the vagina and keep the back and sides of your vagina small and firm.
Finding the right muscles: this is done by preventing or holding on urine or placing your finger in the vagina whilst holding on and feeling tightness around the finger to ensure you are using the right muscle.
Perfect technique: tighten up your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for 5 seconds then relax for another 5 seconds trying for 4-5 times in a row. Avoid holding your breath. Instead breathe freely whilst the exercises are going on.
Introduction of LAM
This is a form of family planning method called lactation Amenorrhea Method. There are three factors to consider before accepting or practicing LAM:
1. The baby should be less than 6 months old
2. The mother should have been amenorrhoeic (no bleeding or menses within the 6 months)
3. Baby would have been breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months
When all these factors are being practiced, then sex can be resumed without fear of getting pregnant too soon. LAM offers at least 98% protection against pregnancy.
Mothers who resume their menses before or after 6 months should visit any family planning unit as soon as possible for other types of family planning methods.
After delivering the placenta the raw surface or inflamed area takes time to heal so if a partner or both would want to resume sex earlier than 2-3 weeks after delivery, precaution should be taken like using condoms or withdrawal methods to prevent introduction of infection as the uterus, vagina and cervix will still be in the process of healing.