How long should it take to be ready for sex after birth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 03-03-2011, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I had a small tear (1st degree) that didn't need stitching, and at my final midwife visit at 7 weeks post-partum she told me that it had healed well and I could start having sex.


So we tried... three times, but it's too sore. It's been 11 weeks now, and I can't stand it! My husband and I have always had a VERY healthy sex-life and, along with him working a lot and me attached to the baby 90% of the day, it is making me feel very distant from him.


It's doesn't seem like it's the tear site that hurts either, it feels like it's bruised inside or something...

Is 11 weeks too long to still be hurting? Should I be seeing a doctor about this yet?

Also, I don't feel any pain otherwise.



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#2 of 17 Old 03-03-2011, 03:50 PM
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Pretty normal, it can take months to get back into the groove in that department. BF'ing hormones especially can dry you out which contributes to the pain. Lubricant and taking it slow helps.

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#3 of 17 Old 03-03-2011, 03:51 PM
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The longest we ever waited was three months but that was only because DH was overseas! The longest we waited when he was home was about a week, a couple times it was just a few days but I've never torn or anything like that although I won't lie and say it wasn't a bit sore for the first two weeks.

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#4 of 17 Old 03-03-2011, 03:51 PM
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I've never torn, and it always taken months to stop feeling sore, like several months. It isn't more till 6ish months when I could even start to enjoy myself. 

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#5 of 17 Old 03-03-2011, 06:15 PM
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You're in the range of perfectly normal. Don't force yourself, it'll probably make it worse.

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#6 of 17 Old 03-03-2011, 06:18 PM
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For us it was a few months.

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#7 of 17 Old 03-04-2011, 03:35 AM
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it was about 4 months before it was tolerable, 9 months before I was really enjoying it. 

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#8 of 17 Old 03-04-2011, 06:37 AM
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I can't remember when we starting doing it again, but I know I didn't feel like myself until I got my period back around 9 mo PP.  It always felt a little uncomfortable, I think because of the BFing hormones like pp said.


I had a second degree tear, BTW.

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#9 of 17 Old 03-04-2011, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Marissamom View Post

it was about 4 months before it was tolerable, 9 months before I was really enjoying it. 

 This was my experience every time. 

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#10 of 17 Old 03-04-2011, 10:07 AM
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About 4-5 months with DD1 (who by then was 50% FF), about 7-8 months with DD2 who is 100% BF.  I tore 1st-2nd degree (no stitches) both times.  I still feel my scar is "tighter" than surrounding tissue, it just doesn't hurt so much anymore.

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#11 of 17 Old 03-04-2011, 10:13 AM
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It seems like there is a wide variation of "normal" -- for me it was very soon (within a couple of weeks) that sex was not painful, but I would have to agree with those who said that breastfeeding hormones can really interfere with enjoyment of sex.  Lube helps, but for me it's still not the same until after my fertility returns... then somehow I seem to be mentally tuned into sex again.  IME, it's really frustrating re-establishing an enjoyable sex life post-baby...

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#12 of 17 Old 03-04-2011, 10:56 AM
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I think we waited about 6  days to try, and we went very very slow. We had to use lube for about 4 months because it was painful if we didnt. I had a 2nd degree tear that was stitched, and I know we shouldnt have been having sex, but we hadnt had sex for 6 weeks when she was born. I found that we had a lot of luck feeling close by engaging in other sexual activities instead. We probably only had sex with penetration 5 or 6 times in the first 6 months.

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#13 of 17 Old 03-05-2011, 04:12 PM
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at least 5 months. I had a 2nd degree almost 3rd degree tear.

Even a full year later it was still sensitive and at the wrong angle I felt like I was going to tear again. It was not pleasant. Only after a full year did it feel normal again although sometimes there is just a bizarre angle and then I get scared for a minute because there is a twinge of pain. This is when DD  turning almost 2. I just don't think it will ever be the same. I had a very miserably recovery though, PPH, and I tore about half my stitches the first time I took a walk post partum so it wasn't a very easy thing for me in general. I don't want to scare you though! You are miles beyond where I was at the point you are now!



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#14 of 17 Old 03-05-2011, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone...

it sucks to know that it can take so long, but I'm glad to know I'm normal.


It crazy that I even have to ask, I'm a student midwife, but our clients are done before we really have to deal with this issue. And, my textbooks say that small tears are usually healed and "sexual function" restored within 2 months... which is obviously BS... written by a man, go figure. I guess "sexual function" must mean 'having' not 'enjoying'...


We tried again last night and it was better...

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#15 of 17 Old 03-08-2011, 03:37 PM
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Last time we waited 4 weeks. It wasn't terrible but it took much longer to be enjoyable for me. 11 weeks is very normal, IMO. Can you and your DH try things other than vaginal intercourse? Even if it's not necessarily sexual maybe some skin to skin time together would bring about the closeness you're missing.  

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#16 of 17 Old 03-09-2011, 05:32 AM
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We tried at 5w pp  - totally wasn't going to happen.  Tried again at 6w pp and were successful.  It was not especially enjoyable for me, and BF hormones drastically changed the way everything felt.  No amount of lube could fix the problem, plus all the lubes burned me - even sensitive kinds.  I even went so far as to get a script (I'm forgetting the name at the moment, the cream that you insert vaginally) to help with the problem, but I didn't end up filling the script because it gets into the breastmilk, so just dealt with the discomfort.  It wasn't until about 8m pp when I dropped one of my pumping sessions that things started to feel normal again, although it didn't feel completely normal until closer to a year when my cycles were trying to return (first ppaf was at 16m pp).


You're totally within the range of normal. 


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#17 of 17 Old 03-09-2011, 06:29 PM
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the last two times it was both before three weeks, yes we had to take it slow but something about just having had the whole birth and watching hubby so sweet and so in love with such a little person- wow it's a good thing (my) fertility doesn't return right away. Also, yes there are usually some other issues, but the stretching really does something to all the tissues down there- makes them tingly and hyper-sensitive. Then after the initial sensation/emotions wear off it's pretty difficult due to dryness/breasts belonging to baby etc... and I too feel that period lasts until fertility again returns. This time we're still under two weeks postpartum and nothing has happened yet, but I think a lot of that has to do with hubby's working hours and all the children sleeping with us/in the next room!

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