When Can You Have Sex After a C-Section?

When can you have sex after a cesarean?

Husband kissing pregnant wife in hospital
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If you've recently given birth by cesarean section, also known as a c-section, you might have questions about how and when to resume your sex life. You may assume that since you did not have a vaginal birth that you can have sex right away, this is not true. Though this is a common misunderstanding.

After having a cesarean, you will still need to wait about six weeks, until you've seen your midwife or doctor postpartum.

They want to ensure that your incision is healing well and that your postpartum bleeding has stopped. This bleeding comes from inside the uterus, at the site where the placenta was located. This bleeding happens to all mothers, regardless of how they gave birth.

"I was shocked that I was bleeding," remembers Rosie, after her first cesarean section. "I thought that if you had a c-section, that you wouldn't bleed. And, if you weren't bleeding, then you could have sex sooner. Nope."

When you are given the go ahead for sex, typically at your postpartum visit at six weeks, you need to consider some other factors. For example, if your incision is still tender, you may wish to use a position where you have the woman on top or a side or rear entry position to avoid direct contact with your incision.

"My incision site only hurt if I pressed on it," says one mom. "We wound up waiting the full eight weeks my doctor recommended simply because it hurt a bit, but more because we were nervous.

There is just the timing of everything. We were pleased with waiting."

You may also want to check into vaginal lubricants to assist you in making this experience as pleasant as possible. Most moms have some issues in the lubrication department, particularly if they are breastfeeding. This is true, regardless of how you gave birth.

"I remembered lubricating after my first baby, who was born vaginally, so I knew to prepare ahead of time. It's a simple fix for something minor when you have so much else going on," says April. "Just add a little lube and forget about it!"

Remember that time and patience are great cures for sexual ailments post-cesarean and post-baby. You might have a few awkward encounters, a sense of humor will really help with most of what you experience. If you have issues that seem to be beyond the normal time frame, pain, or bleeding that doesn't seem normal, be sure to see your doctor or midwife for advice. Typically there is a simple fix! 


Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. Gabbe, S, Niebyl, J, Simpson, JL. Sixth Edition.

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