For nine months, you’ve cared for, nurtured, and patiently awaited having a baby. When the time finally comes, you’ll welcome your baby into this world either through vaginal delivery or a Cesarean section (C-section). 

While both forms of delivery require recovery, a C-section takes a bit longer. And while you might not feel up to it quite yet, you may also be wondering — when can I have sex after a C-section?

A C-section is major abdominal surgery, and taking the time to recover is important. While listening to your health care provider’s instruction is key, there are also some things to know about having sex after your C-section. 

When Can I Have Sex Again After a C-section?

Whether you’re ready to jump right back into the bedroom or you want to wait a little longer, there are some factors to consider as you recover from your C-section. 

Most obstetricians recommend waiting around 6 weeks after delivery before having sex. The goal is for the uterus to be able to clean itself out and for any incisions to heal — lowering your chances of complications or infection. 

If you don’t wait, you run the risk of vaginal dryness, pain during sex, and reopening healing wounds. 

Before leaving the hospital, talk to your doctor about your recovery, including how long you should wait to have sex during that postpartum period. 

What Positions Are Most Comfortable Post-C-Section? 

Once your C-section is healed, sex is completely safe. However, your incision might feel extra sensitive for a while — and that’s perfectly normal. 

The best way to make sex the most comfortable for you is to experiment. Try out various positions, which allow you to control the deepness of penetration. However, there are two positions that tend to be more enjoyable post-C-section: 

  1. Woman on top
  2.  Side-lying positions, like spooning

Which Positions Are Off-Limits?

While there are no positions that are off-limits after Cesarean delivery, there are some that a larger percentage of women find uncomfortable, such as missionary (or man top). This might cause irritation to your incision — especially if you’ve had at least one C-section delivery before. 

Will a C-section Affect My Sex Drive?

Whether you’re sleep-deprived, preoccupied, or simply soaking in time with your new baby, it’s completely normal if you’re not exactly feeling up to sex after your C-section — even after your body is technically recovered. 

In fact, sex after childbirth no matter the method of delivery can be tough. 

Having a lower sex drive after your C-section is completely normal. While it’s important to listen to your body, be patient, and not rush anything unnecessarily, there are ways to increase your sex drive. 

If you’re healed and ready to get back into the bedroom, here are 7 steps you can take to make sex feel better as you explore what is the most comfortable for you. 

1. Use a Lubricant

Lubricants are a quick and easy way to enhance lubrication for a more pleasurable experience.

For instance, O-Shot Liquid Glide Water-Based Personal Lubricant boosts natural moisture, glide, and sensation — leading to increased comfort and pleasure. (Bonus: it has no silicone, glycerine, glycols, fragrances, or parabens). 

2. Get into the Mood

Take the time and effort to really set the mood. Have a glass of wine (right after feeding if you’re choosing to breastfeed), put on some music, or engage in a couple’s massage session. Allow your body to get excited for what’s to come! 

3. Foreplay, Foreplay, Foreplay

Speaking of getting excited, foreplay is critical to pleasurable sex. Ask your partner for foreplay (or a little bit extra, if you want). A little bit goes a long way when it comes to lubrication and getting in the mood. 

4. Speak up to your Partner

Pleasurable sex is all good communication. Tell your partner when something feels good so they know to keep doing it. On the flip side, let them know when something hurts so they know to avoid that in the future. 

5. Do Kegels 

Doing Kegels (contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles) helps increase blood flow to the vagina, making sex a more pleasurable experience for both parties. Keep doing them both during sex and at other times, such as while washing dishes or bingeing on your favorite TV show. 

6. Try Alternative Sexual Activities 

Sex can mean a lot of things — and it may be time to take advantage of some other sexual activities. Instead of sexual intercourse, try mutual masturbation, oral sex, or even just cuddling up with one another. 

7. Identify — and Manage — Fears and Concerns

Having a C-section can lead to a new set of fears and concerns — both about you and your baby. From poor body image to fear of waking your baby to concerns about getting pregnant again, there are plenty of reasons you might not be able to completely focus on sex. 

Talk about these concerns with your partner, and do your best to address them. For instance, something as simple as letting your partner know you’re feeling a little less sexy than normal can help them know they need to reaffirm how much they’re attracted to you. 

As for getting pregnant, talk to your health care provider about birth control options, and use the best birth control method for you. 

What Should I Do About Painful Sex After a C-Section?

Pain should never go hand-in-hand with sex — even after a C-section. If you’re experiencing pain, it may come from vaginal dryness and sensitivity. These are common and can be a result of the C-section or other parts of being a new mother, such as breastfeeding, lack of sleep, and stress.

However, if you’re experiencing pain that won’t go away, talk to your doctor. They may be able to explore more ways to increase sexual pleasure — and they can also make sure nothing else is going on. 

Sex After Your C-Section: Patience Means Pleasure

Having a baby and a major surgery are both major life events — and it’s important to give your mind and body time to adjust to the changes. Don’t rush into anything, and listen to your body. 

When you are ready to get back into the bedroom, go slow, and be patient. Not everything will go right back to normal right away, but with time, you’ll find just as much pleasure between the sheets as you did before. 

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