When is it safe to start having sex again after giving birth?

Your physician will give you a recommendation about when it is OK to begin having sex again postpartum.  Typically, this will be in the neighborhood of six weeks.

The uterus and cervix undergo significant changes during the process of delivering a baby, and they need time to heal. During this healing phase the lining of the uterus, especially the site where the placenta was attached, is susceptible to infection. Intercourse, douching, tampons, and anything placed in the vagina may introduce bacteria, and cause an infection.  The flow of lochia, which is a sign that the lining is healing, can last from three to eight weeks. When the lochia flow is no longer bright red, it signals that healing is near completion, and it’s probably safe to have intercourse again.

Many other factors can affect the amount of time you should wait.  A vaginal laceration, rectal tear or epesiotomy can take three weeks or longer to heal, depending on the severity of the injury.  If you have intercourse too soon you can cause not only pain but a disruption in the healing process, and even cause another rupture in that area.

If you have had a C-section, remember that you have undergone major abdominal surgery, and that your body will need sufficient amounts of time to recover before resuming normal activities, including sex.

Oral sex and other forms of "outercourse" like masturbation are typically safe a few days after delivery. They can also be a good way to share pleasure with your mate during the standard four- to six-week waiting period for intercourse.  If you have stitches from an episiotomy or a vaginal laceration repair, be sure your partner avoids contact with that area in order not to disrupt the healing.

When is it safe to start having sex again after giving birth?