Intimacy After Childbirth: Normal Changes to Your Body
After the birth of a child, a woman’s body experiences a number of different changes. Some of the changes are due to the pregnancy, and some of the changes are due to the birthing process. Many of the changes will disappear over time.
A decrease in estrogen following childbirth and during breastfeeding can cause various changes to a woman’s body. Her vaginal lining may thin or become irritated during sexual activity. Both of these changes can make penetration during sex painful.
Hormones released during sexual activity can actually help the uterus return to its normal size and position following childbirth. This may be encouraging for women who are eager to begin sexual activity.*
After pregnancy you could experience vaginal dryness as a result of the decreased levels of estrogen in your body. Women who are breastfeeding also experience vaginal dryness. For some women, vaginal dryness can last up to six months.
Use a water-based vaginal lubricant during sexual activity for your added pleasure, comfort, and safety. Try Just Like Me or Sweet Seduction. Both products are gentle and non-irritating.
Less Intense Orgasms
Because the vaginal muscles stretched during childbirth and pregnancy, you may experience less intense orgasms for the first few months. To help this, perform Kegel exercises regularly to help restore the elasticity to your vaginal muscles and tissues.
To aid in the performance of Kegel exercises, try Pure Romance’s Ben Wa Balls, which are inserted vaginally. Ben Wa Balls help locate the correct muscles used during Kegel exercises.
Loss of Desire
Fatigue, stress, or worry about becoming pregnant again can cause a woman to temporarily lose her desire for sexual activity. This is completely normal. Most women regain their sexual desire after a few months. If you find that you are still experiencing desire issues after a long period of time, talk to your health care provider, who can develop a plan to help overcome these issues.
A heightener, or arousal cream, can help increase a woman’s sexual arousal. Pure Romance’s topical arousal creams (Ex-T-Cee, Nympho Niagra, and X-Scream) are applied to the clitoris and draw blood to the genitals, helping to increase libido and sexual desire.
Changes to Vaginal Tissues
Because of the trauma of childbirth, a woman’s vaginal tissue may have become strained, bruised, or torn, making sexual activity uncomfortable. A woman may find that clitoral stimulation is preferred over vaginal stimulation for sometime following childbirth. It is important to note that because of possible tearing of the vaginal tissues, oral sex is not recommended on a woman following childbirth. This could lead to infection of the tissues or a more serious consequences.
Over time, the vaginal tissues will heal on their own. To help with the healing process, it is important to maintain vaginal health before and after pregnancy and delivery. A healthy diet, exercises (including Kegel exercises), using a vaginal moisturizer (such as Fresh Start) and/or water-based vaginal lubricant (such as Just Like Me or Sweet Seduction), and engaging in plenty of foreplay can help restore the vaginal tissue and muscles to their pre-pregnancy condition.
Many women experience a growth in breast size following pregnancy. This can be very exciting and pleasurable for a woman and her partner. If a woman is breastfeeding, though, she may find that her breasts are too sensitive or over stimulated and may want to avoid any touching or breast stimulation. This should pass with time, though, and as breastfeeding is decreased. Some women find that as they become sexually aroused or that during orgasm their breasts may expel milk, which is normal. Some women and their partners find pleasure in this experience, while others are uncomfortable with it. If it is bothersome, women can wear breast pads during sexual activity to avoid this potentially embarrassing situation.
*It is important to note that women must wait for their doctor’s approval before resuming sexual intercourse. This will allow their body enough time to heal following their pregnancy. For most women, they must wait at least six weeks following childbirth before having intercourse again.