C-section FAQ: When can I have sex after a C-section?

So you have just had a C-section and are trying to recover from the birth as well as look after your new baby (or babies!).  At some point you may wonder when you can have sex after a C-section (even if your initial thoughts might be to NEVER have sex EVER again!).

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Before I left the hospital my obstetrician gave me strict instructions about not put anything in my vagina for 6 weeks.  This included tampons and of course penises.  In other words, no sex for 6 weeks.

If I’m honest it didn’t bother me.  Between recovering from the C-section and pure exhaustion from dealing with a new baby the idea of sex didn’t even enter my head.  However for some women the desire to have sex might come flooding back almost immediately and it can be difficult to abstain.

The reason for abstaining is to ensure no bacteria enters the vagina potentially affecting the area of your body that has just been operated on.  Also, the movement and thrusting from sex could potentially damage any internal stitches and scars.  A six-week time period allows time for your body to heal.  You will also be bleeding after a C-section (called lochia) and this should also have stopped by the six-week mark.

If you can’t resist the urge to have sex until after six weeks it would be really important to take it really gently.  If it is painful maybe stop and wait another week before trying again.  You may want to consider using lubrication.

sex after a C-section

Just remember that the six-week time frame is only an earliest time frame to consider restarting your sex life.  If you don’t feel comfortable having sex until later than don’t rush into anything you are not comfortable with.  This is where some open and honest conversations with your partner are required.  In good time you will be ready to be intimate again.

Finally, at whatever stage you do decide to have sex after a C-section just remember it is perfectly possible to get pregnant even within a couple of weeks of birth. So unless you want to find yourself expecting again make sure to use some form of contraception.


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