Will sex feel the same after giving birth?
‘Will sex feel the same after I give birth?’
Women often worry about sex being painful and both men and women wonder if it will be as satisfying after all those fragile tissues have been stretched.
The good news is that, with some effort, sex can be just as pleasurable as before you gave birth and in some cases can be even better!
How long should I wait before I can have sex after giving birth?
The most important thing is to wait until you feel ready; emotionally and physically.
A very small number of couples have sex within the first month but most wait until between two and six months.
Remember that sex isn’t just made up of penetration; kisses, cuddles and touching each other (or foreplay) are really important and can make the difference between bad sex and really good sex.
If you have sex too early (before you have healed properly) then it might feel a little sore, especially if you’ve had stitches.
But feeling anxious and not being fully aroused are the two main reasons that sex is uncomfortable after birth.
Take your time, talk to your partner and don’t go further than you feel ready for.
Will my vagina feel too loose after giving birth?
Your vagina will have stretched to allow your baby to be born so you’ll need to work on tightening those muscles up again afterwards.
Your pelvic floor muscles have an amazing ability to stretch enough to let a baby’s head through so they can also tighten back up again if you work on them!
However if you don’t do your pelvic floor (or Kegel) exercises, then those muscles may remain weak.
That may mean that you don’t feel as much during sex or that you don’t reach orgasm as easily.
Your partner may notice a slight difference but it is unusual for men’s enjoyment of sex to be affected a great deal by this.
Some women who were able to reach orgasm through penetration alone (only a small percentage of women overall) may find it harder to do this after having a baby. This is because tight pelvic floor muscles stimulate the clitoris during sex. If they are not as toned then sex doesn’t stimulate the clitoris as much.
What can I do to help tighten my vagina after giving birth?
The first thing is to start doing your pelvic floor exercises as soon as possible. Even if you can only do a few twitches to begin with, this will still help.
As your muscles get stronger, try to hold onto the contraction for longer. After you’ve stopped bleeding and once any soreness has settled, you can then begin to use the Aquaflex cones.
Start with the largest size and smallest weight and as your muscles get stronger, add heavier weights. It might take a few weeks or even months but once you can hold the largest cone in easily, try a smaller cone.
This will help you tone your muscles and regain your sensation during sex. After a few weeks of this, try squeezing your partner with your pelvic floor muscles during sex so he can feel the benefit of your toned muscles too!
What if I can’t feel anything during sex or when I do Kegels?
If you really struggle to feel anything happening or you can’t hold even the largest cone in place after a few weeks of exercising then it’s time to seek some help from a professional.
Your GP can refer you to a Women’s Health Physiotherapist who will feel your muscles. If they are very weak then she can show you how to use the Pericalm.
This helps to strengthen your muscles by sending messages to the muscles via a comfortable probe that you place inside your vagina.
After a few weeks of this (you take the machine home with you to use every day), you can usually move onto the cones or the Educator to continue strengthening the muscles.
Remember it takes time to get your muscles back again so don’t give up too soon. With a little effort there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to continue enjoying sex as much as, if not more than, before you had your baby.