How Soon Can I Have Sex After A C-Section?

Profile view of loving African American couple being close to each other in nature.
Profile view of loving African American couple being close to each other in nature. skynesher via Getty Images

Having a caesarean section is considered major abdominal surgery. An incision is made in the abdomen to get the baby safely out of the womb, while the parent is given regional anaesthesia.

With such a big surgery, there has to be some downtime as well in order to recover well and avoid infection risks.

Usually the parent is discharged 1—2 days after surgery, but they are advised to take things easy for several weeks. This means limiting activities such as driving, exercising, carrying anything heavier than your baby for around 6 weeks when you start to feel better.

When can you have sex?

After being pregnant for 9 months where you may or may not have had a low sex drive or felt uncomfortable in your body, many parents might question when is it finally time to do the deed again?

Well, according to the NHS you’ll probably start to feel better 6 weeks after your C-section, when you can resume these activities. But if you do feel better sooner and it’s not uncomfortable, you can actually have sex sooner!

But you should always be careful and listen to your body.

What if sex is painful after birth?

“If penetration hurts, say so. If you pretend that everything’s all right when it isn’t, you may start to see sex as a nuisance or unpleasant, rather than a pleasure. You can still give each other pleasure without penetration – for example, by mutual masturbation,” advises the NHS.

The governmental body also says to take it gently and even try to explore with your fingers to reassure yourself that sex won’t hurt. Don’t rule out using a lubricant either!

The NHS says that you don’t need to rush it, and that you can get pregnant again as soon as three weeks after having a baby. You could wait until you’ve had your six-week postnatal check with a doctor, and have discussed contraception options, to resume a regular sex life.

Cathy Ranson, the former editor in chief of Netmums believes the answer is waiting until you feel comfortable.

“If you’ve had a tear or C-section, what feels comfortable will be very different from someone who had a ‘straightforward’ birth,” she says. “Every body and every vagina is different, so take it from your body’s cues, don’t feel pressured. Do it only when you want to, to keep the experience loving and positive.