Although in the first few weeks or months after delivery you may feel like you will never be sexual again, be assured that this will pass. Try not to worry too much about it. Patience and communication with your partner are very important.
When is it safe to have sex after giving birth?
You may be physically able to have sex as soon as two weeks after delivery if you had only a small tear or none at all. But most women wait at least four to six weeks, or until they get the okay from their health care provider. It all depends on:
- the type of delivery you had
- how difficult it was
- how many stitches you needed, and
- any complications in your pregnancy.
There might be a big difference between when you are physically able to have sex versus when you feel emotionally ready, and actually want to have sex. Things that can impact your sexual desire:
- lack of sleep
- the demands of your newborn
- your changing body image
- any anxieties about motherhood
Your partner may also be experiencing similar feelings.
The right time for you to resume intimacy is, therefore, a very individual decision. Even if sex is the last thing on your mind, it is important to nurture the bond with your partner in non-sexual ways to maintain your relationship as a couple, not just as parents.
How soon after delivery can I get pregnant?
You could actually release an egg and get pregnant again as early as two or three weeks after delivery! You can get pregnant even if your period has not returned; usually your period comes two weeks after you ovulate.
Lactational Amenorrhea Method is an effective form of birth control, but only if you answer yes to all of the following statements:
- My baby is less than six months old.
- My monthly period has not yet returned (this is what “Amenorrhea” means).
- My baby is fully or nearly fully breastfed.
- My baby breastfeeds at least every four hours during the day and at least every six hours at night.
“Fully breastfed” means that your baby gets all his food from suckling at your breast. “Nearly fully breastfed” means that in addition to breastfeeding and Vitamin D, your baby is only receiving one or two mouthfuls per day of any other fluids or solids.
If you are not planning a pregnancy and have answered no to even one of the statements, you will need to use another form of birth control.
Depending on your plans for future pregnancy, there are a number of birth control (contraceptive methods) available.
Speak to your health care provider or a Public Health Nurse at the Sexual Health Clinic about finding the right birth control method for your situation. You can also speak with a Public Health Nurse by calling 519-271-7600 extension 779.
Adapted from Sexuality and U, administered by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, 2013. Sexual Health – Pregnancy. Retrieved January 7, 2013.