Sexuality After Birth

Ask Dinah your question

during my childbirth in april this year, my uterus, cervix,n vagina were stressed cos the doc later realized I couldnt birth naturally so they carried out c.s on me. Though i am fine, since then my husband cant penetrate into me. I feel pain in my vagina, I am very tight like a virgin. so I need a cream or drugs to soften it so that I can enjoy my sex life.

Dinah answers: Even if you underwent a C-section and not a vaginal birth, the trauma of childbirth and the hormonal changes that remain for months afterwards, can cause a lot of sexual pain and difficulty. Some doctors will give you lubricant or estrogen cream if you are dry, which is especially a problem when breastfeeding, but otherwise there are no simple solutions. The best advice that you can get is not to push yourself, when your vagina tightens up, you cannot overcome it by forcing penetration, it will only make it worse. If lubrication or lots of foreplay do not help you to feel excited and relaxed enough to enjoy sex, you need to learn to do kegel exercises to flex and release the pelvic floor muscles. A gynecologist or physiotherapist can help you with these exercises and with other treatment for recovery.

I just had a baby 7 weeks ago and went for my 6 week obgyn said eveything looks good and why i hadn't had sex again to which i replied because i was told not to for 6 weeks duh! But we still havent because im still bleeding...kind of...alot of lochia tinged with blood. I dont soak a pad or the end of maybe 6 hours it looks like an hour of a regular period. I want to resume with my partner but i read your not supposed to until all that stops and im afraid to do exercise on hands and knees (pushups) because air can go in and read thats bad too....please help.

Dinah answers: I can’t imagine WHY your obgyn would have asked you in such a strange way. Sure, there are some women who are ready for intercourse after the minimal 6 weeks (especially if they haven’t had a vaginal birth), but for most women, it takes many more weeks and months to regain the strength, the confidence (to have friction in that area), the body image and the libido. If you are ready for sex but your body is not, either because you are bleeding or you have some pain when you try, then how about finding ways to be intimate without your vagina. Oral sex or giving him a handjob after giving each other massages can be terrifically gratifying. As far as exercising goes, don’t worry about air getting in. This is an unbased idea. After a couple of months you can start exercising gently and build up as your body allows.

I had a child almost 3 yrs ago and I just recently started having sex again. we have been doin it once a week then we stopped will my vagina be really stretched out...?

Dinah answers: Vagina’s stretch out quite a bit from a vaginal birth, but in the months that follow it goes back to more or less the size it was before the birth. Vagina’s also stretch from having sex, relative to how they are when you are a virgin, and it doesn’t matter if the sex is once a month or 3 times a week. Stretching is normal and it is necessary. If you don’t use extremely large objects for penetration, there is no reason that you should worry about too much stretching. If your partner is making claims about this then it is totally unreasonable. It is nevertheless a good idea to learn to do Kegel exercises and this way you can tighten up the internal vaginal muscles and also learn to control them during sex and at other times.

My husband and I have a very healthy sex life, proven by the new addition to our family recently but not stifled. We became active again just a few weeks after our baby was born (not vaginally mind you). Since reintroducing full intercourse again we've had a few occasions where after foreplay there was breastmilk on his penis before insertion. Is this bad to get into my vagina?

Dinah answers: Congratulations on the addition and on returning in good time to a healthy sex life. As I’m sure you’ll have heard about breastfeeding, breastmilk is good for a multitude of purposes. Unfortunately, lubricant may not necessarily be one of them. Because breastmilk contains forms of sugar, which will sustain your baby, it could cause a reaction such as thrush (candida) in the vagina. However, if you are not prone to candida, and you have not experienced any signs of thrush, there should not be any other problems with a bit of milk getting in. Just keep in mind that mother’s milk is completely natural and contains your own antibodies, so this might prevent any strange reactions. Do not think that the same is true for cow’s milk, which is filled with hormones and is not designed for use on your body.

Well I just had a baby four months ago and before i would get my period every 21 days for 7 days. I was very regular now that i have my son i get my period every two weeks and my period last two weeks. To get it under control i got the non-hormonal IUD. Will my period ever go back to normal. And also, if you know the answer can sex affect you if you want to gain muscle mass for example like trying to get muscular arms and all that? Will having sex decrease your muscle mass?

Dinah answers: Often periods take many many months to get back to their “normal” pattern after birth, but sometimes they take on a new pattern. Once you put in an IUD you cannot be sure what is really happening because it can change your bleeding patterns, although the non-hormonal ones are less interfering than the hormonal ones. When you are ready to take it out, you will have to take a few month to figure out your cycle pattern again. Regarding sex and muscle mass, it all depends on how you have sex. Its like saying can walking make you fit. It you don’t make any effort and don’t work up a sweat, it won’t be making much difference either way. If you try being more acrobatic during sex, by that I mean trying positions where you place weight on your arms or legs until you feel the strain, and you do this repeatedly and for longer periods each time, then you are going to begin building muscle strength. In any case, sex cannot decrease your muscle mass, but it may tone you, if you work those muscles well. It is great that you are thinking about the extra benefits of sex, especially since many women are searching for ways to get back into shape after a pregnancy and birth; just don’t forget to enjoy the sexual experience, while you’re at it.

i have been experiencing a pain in my lower abdomin, like a muscle pain as if i was working out, i also have tender breasts. could i be pregnant? i had a baby 8 weeks ago so are these normal after childbirth? me and my husband have not had sex, but his penis slipped into my vagina about an inch, the day my first period stopped. are these signs of pregnancy or are they normal this long after child birth?

Dinah answers: First of all I beg to differ on your statement “my husband have not had sex”. What you did certainly constitutes sex and any behaviour that brings your genitalia into any contact means that you need to be using contraception. Whether you have fears of another pregnancy or other unusual and uncomfortable sensations following your birth, you need to be discussing this with your post-natal health care specialist. You should have regular check-ups scheduled but make a special appointment if necessary.

me and my boyfriend were fooling around and we were going to try anal sex because i have not yet got contraception. he used an awful lot of vaseline to try and lubricate me but when he tried to insert his penis it slipped down a bit and inserted my vagina a tiny bit. he assures me there was no precum or anything but im not sure. could this make me preganant? this happened jus 6 weeks after child birth!

Dinah answers: You are definitely at risk of becoming pregnant at this point in time, so if slip ups tend to happen, you need to discuss contraception with your doctor or local family planning clinic. From 6 weeks post-partum, you have a lot of options available. If condoms aren’t going to be used properly and regularly, consider going on the pill. There is one pill that is suited to mothers who are breast feeding and another pill suited to mothers who are bottle feeding. You can also consider getting an IUD (“a coil”) which means you’ll not have to worry about swallowing pills or doing anything special, you’ll be covered for a few years at a time. There are others too, but these are possibly your best options. Please take the time to organize contraception before you have sex the next time. Getting pregnant so soon after birth is not healthy for your body, your relationship or your own well-being.

i have just had a baby 3 weeks ago! 2 days before the baby was three weeks old, me and my boyfriend were fooling around! anyways the point is, he came on my chest and as i cleaned it i think i got a bit on my hand! when i was getting ready a few seconds later i pulled my underwear up but i think a bit of the cum touched my pubic hair, right at the very top of my vagina! it wasnt near an opening and at a push it may have touched the very top of my clitoris! could i be pregnant again?

Dinah answers: Most women have very low sex drive after giving birth, not only for 3 weeks but for 3 months, and sometimes many more. They are also very sore so that prevents them from wanting anyone coming close to their vaginal area. So for most women, pregnancy worries don’t happen for quite a while longer. If you are feeling ready for some kind of sexual activity, you have to be ready to take care of contraception. If you are not ready and doing it only for your partner’s sake, you need to talk to him and have him ask him to understand. Read more on sex after childbirth. In any case, after 3 weeks, you should not yet be capable of conceiving but from a month or so after birth, it might well be possible, so you need to consider the options. It is important to know that there is some level of protection if you are breastfeeding, but this is not complete protection, so do not count on it. Right now your body is after a massive trauma of childbirth and it is highly recommended that you avoid another pregnancy for the next 6 months to a year, if you are interested in another child at all.