Yep, it's a topic we need to talk about.
And, of course, I'm going there...
There are so many things about this topic that I want to cover actually. I'm going to do my best to simplify and make it as informative and comfortable as I can.
First off, I hope you were able to make it to my workshop "Sex After Birth" that I did this past Friday! If you did not, the replay is available for just $27, and I will post the link below!
The biggest questions that I get regarding postpartum sex are:
I want to break these down for you so I can give you a really good depiction of what a pelvic PT does but also what you can do to benefit yourself and your future sex life!
First and foremost, please understand there about 2628475739 things to consider when you are wanting to get back to having sex postpartum. To simplify: boobs hurt, you aren't sleeping, you don't want to, your hormones, can't poop, don't eat well, and all the others. I want to give you permission to first FEEL that.
Feel like a mess and let yourself be OK with where you are. Communication, mental health, and your health are the most important things.
Shew, now that I said that! We can move on to my expertise, the things I know all about. Like... the sexual parts. You know, your lady bits and things.
I want to break down a study first to prove you are not alone in this:
There was a study completed in 2017 with 2, 911 women. These women were between 1 and 6 months postpartum. The women were included only if they'd had only one child, which I have an opinion about (surprise). It WILL change each time!
Anyways, out of those 2,911 women, 583 reported they did have pain with sex (the medical term is dyspareunia) once they resumed and were interviewed at 6 months postpartum.
About 1/3 of the women who reported they had pain, reported they also were breastfeeding, and around 36% of women reported pain druing sex at 6 months.
I don't know about you, but that's a lot of a number for a somewhat small sample size...
Psychology Today reports that nearly 1 in 3 women experience pain with sex.
I want to stop here for a second and talk about what "pain with sex" actually means. Because we often, incorrectly think it means during the act of having intercourse is when we have pain. But it's not only that...
Pain with sex includes All of the following:
So, as you can see it's important to include that information, otherwise many of us just assume we can move on without the diagnosis and be fine.
Anyways, I share those statistics with you because it's important for you to know what the research says and that I'm not just this crazy lady sitting around preaching to you.
Now to answer the quesitons:
Will it hurt?
Well, I believe I would be lying totally if I told you it will feel 100% the same as before or during pregnancy. Because, well it won't. During labor and delivery (yes, even if you've had a c-section) your body goes through some incredible changes. Your pelvic floor and your vaginal canal stretch to around 3-4 times its normal.. that's AMAZING!
Many clients get anxious when they think about that. But you shouldn't feel anxious. Your body knows what to do!
Now you may go back to having sex, with only a bit of change on how that feels and that's great! I love that for you. But I would challenge you aren't reading this if everything is rainbows and butterflies...
So, what are some things that can contribute to possible pain? Well, I've got them listed for you here:
This blog is not discussing the skin disorders or problems that may arise from certain meditations or treatments. There are those, they do exist and deserve to get help too!
So, to answer your "will it hurt" question, I like to say:
It shouldn't hurt, but it most likely will feel different than before. This can be a good thing though, so don't lose help!
I say it this way because I don't want you to have anxiety about it!
Are there positions that can help?
Yep! There sure are. I've listed below some of the favorite ones my clients love:
Those are the lucky winners thus far on the favorite positions my clients have! Give them a try and let me know how they go.
Note: I recommend keeping your legs together during sex so you do not add too much tension or pull on the pelvic floor muscles, out of what is necessary.
Also, use lubricant for your first few times to see if that helps at all.
One of the biggest things I can say is:
If it hurts or if it's uncomfortable, change positions.
Don't stop or freak out before you try something else!
When is the right time to try having sex after having a baby?
I know, you get "cleared" at 6 weeks postpartum and just assume everything will go back to normal.
I hate to break it to you, but it doesn't always work that way.
What if you are peeing yourself? What if you have heaviness/pressure? What if you are struggling with how you look/feel?
You aren't sleeping well, or eating the way you normally do... but you're supposed to feel fine?!
I'm sorry. I'm crawling up to my soap box real quick.
There is absolutely no reason why we should make women feel like they "should" be somewhere, or be at a certain stage... and if I hear one more time how many times we are supposed to have sex or how many orgasms we are supposed to have weekly... I might flip my shit.
Okay, crawling down.
YOU know your body and you deserve to have pleasurable sex.
You heard me right.
You deserve to have pleasure.
You deserve mind blowing sex.
You deserve to do it how you want, when you want, how much you want.
And welcome to my talk show...
But in all seriousness, I do hope that this helps you in some way. I do hope you find some freedom in what I've said and that you recognize how beautiful your body is. You've created life and birthed that life, and now you are raising that human.
Don't let society tell you that you are less than or you aren't where you need to be...
But if you are reading this and experiencing pain with sex I want to help you.
Here is what I can do:
I want to help you. I hope to see you in one of the 2 things above because YOU DESERVE TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE.
That includes getting rid of pain and having pain free sex.
Until next time, I'm signing off.