Q: Hi Dr Ketch, I have a question. How soon after giving birth can I have sex again? My partner seems very impatient to me. Our baby is only a month old now,
A: Good question 😀 The honest answer is, as soon as you and your spouse feel up to it. Usually, 6 weeks is advocated at which time the woman would have had a post-natal check. However, there is really no scientific basis for this and the time a woman feels like intimacy could differ from woman to woman. Some women feel ready earlier and some much later. Bear in mind that there are new issues contending for attention here…namely the new baby who requires a lot of attention, the overwhelming emotion of being in charge of a new life especially for new mothers, the sheer exhaustion after looking after the baby’s needs and sleep deprivation, the pain of vaginal suturing, if the woman had a tear, the dryness of the vagina at this time etc. We could go on and on! So, with all these, it may be difficult to feel really sexy…trust me, I know 😀
So, what’s the way forward? New mums, get as much help as you can so that you don’t feel exhausted every night. Also, rest whenever the baby is taking a nap. Perhaps, timing for intimacy can also be re-scheduled to other times…maybe mornings while the baby is still sleeping etc. Then again, you don’t have to wait for full sexual intercourse to be intimate. You can start off with cuddling and then move on to more adventurous things. Lubrication may also be a great idea to help with vaginal dryness. To help restore muscular tone to the vagina, pelvic floor exercise (Kegel exercises) should be started as soon as possible. The exercise mimics the movements we make when we want to stop the flow of urine. Try holding this for about 10 seconds and then doing about 10 repetitions per set. Try about 4 to 6 sets per day and increase this as you feel ready.
Remember birth control even if you’re breastfeeding exclusively. You don’t want to get pregnant while nursing a baby, right? 😀
I hope this helps 😀