Sex after the birth

Some couples resume their sex lives quite soon after the birth, while other couples still have not established a sex life 1 year after the birth.

It is in many ways a big upheaval having a child. The majority of parents are positively surprised that even infants have a personality, and that they in a position to have very active contact with their parents.

They have requirements in contact with their parents and do not just accept what they are given. Some parents are less positive in maintaining that infants sometimes cry a great deal without the parents knowing why, and it can be difficult to find out the sleep rhythms of infants.

A child sleeps 16 - 18 hours a day, so s/he may never sleep when it would be most appropriate for the parents - and in each case, the majority of infants will wake up several times a night.

Exhaustion

New parents face many demands on both their psychological and their physical strengths. The majority of parents with infants are actually unbelievably tired.

This exhaustion can cause problems in the couple's relationship. It can become more difficult to concentrate on each other, and they become irritable more easily and have less energy for a sex life.

Discomfort or pain during intercourse

For many women and men, the first intercourse will feel different from before, partly because during the first months after the birth, there will be less moisture in the vagina.

The reduction in moisture can be attributed to changes in the hormones occurring in connection with pregnancy and birth. In some women, these changes can last throughout the nursing period and are therefore not in themselves an expression of a lack of sex drive. Reduced moisture can be alleviated with exploration creme ('glidecreme').

If a woman has been sewn in connection with an incision or a tear during the birth, the wound will usually be healed after 10 - 12 days. Some women, however, feel pain or discomfort for a longer period. This may be because they are afraid that they will feel pain during intercourse, and therefore the muscles tense around the vagina, so the pain can be attributed to muscle tension, but there can also be soreness near the sutures. If the pain does not disappear of its own accord, you should see your doctor.

Some women may lose small amounts of blood for quite a while - up to 6 - 8 weeks. This bleeding does not need to prevent you from resuming intercourse, but until the bleeding has stopped, you should use condoms to prevent the risk of infection in the uterus.

If you have intercourse shortly after the birth, you will probably experience that the vagina does not close as tightly around the penis as it did before the birth. This may cause alarm, but a woman can easily retrain her pelvic floor musculature so her vagina closes tightly around the penis again.

"Air" in the vagina can be inconvenient during intercourse, but will also disappear afterwards as the pelvic floor is retrained. In addition to the physical changes, the majority of couples also experience that the first intercourse after the birth will take place in a different atmosphere from before.

Prevention

As the first ovulation following the birth will take place before the first period, there is a risk of unwanted pregnancy if you do not take precautions. Nursing is no guarantee that you cannot become pregnant. Condoms are appropriate during this period. Contraceptive pills must not be used whilst you are nursing.

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