postpartum family

Postpartum Dyspareunia – painful sex after childbirth

Pain during Intercourse after having your baby

How long did it take you to be ready for sex after giving birth?

Three weeks? six weeks? five months?

There are actually so many women who have pain during intercourse after giving birth.

This is a condition called dyspareunia or postpartum dyspareunia that is not talked about enough.

Dyspareunia is defined as: 

„Pain only at sexual entry (penetration)
Pain with every penetration, including putting in a tampon.
Deep pain during thrusting.
Burning pain or aching pain.
Throbbing pain, lasting hours after intercourse.“

According to Clinical trials it is estimated that about 50 to 60% of all women experience painful intercourse after childbirth about 5 to 6 weeks postpartum.

About 17 to 33% of all women still report pain 3 to 6 months after giving birth.

postpartum mom

And only about 15% of all these women even talk about it to their healthcare provider.

But why?

First of all your doctor probably won’t even bring it up at your check up.

Your doctor will counsel you about postpartum health but that will most likely only include obvious health issues like a tear healing or when it is ok to have sex again after your baby only from a health perspective.

And what birth control is best for you and when you should start taking it.

They will not warn you about this possibility of painful sex so it goes untreated in a lot of cases.

A lot of women do not notice it until after their checkup when they are trying to get intimate with their partner again.

You may not know how to bring it up or feel very embarrassed but you do not have to be.

This may also be interesting:
Postpartum Depression – How I learned to deal with it
Learn to love your postpartum body

– Date night at home for new parents

What are the causes for postpartum dyspareunia?

The most common cost for dyspareunia is a trauma your body went through as childbirth.

It can also be caused by a weakened pelvic muscle.

Just like any other muscle in your body your pelvic muscle can overcompensate for being weekend which makes it extra tight.

However there doesn’t seem to be a difference between vaginal birth and C-section.

Other causes can be vaginal dryness, a very loose or tight pelvic muscle or loss of libido (the sexual desire)

As you can tell the pelvic muscle has a lot to do with the whole problem.

During childbirth – especially vaginal childbirth – there is a lot of extra pressure on those pelvic muscles which can result in a weak pelvic muscle or even dysfunction that can cause incontinence and a uterus prolapse.

If you had a tear or cut during delivery the scar tissue can also pull on your muscle making it uncomfortable.

Breastfeeding is also said to be a possible cause for the lower estrogen level that a women has while nursing her baby.

A lower estrogen level can cause dryness.

The overall stress of being a mom and having to care for a newborn can add to the whole problem too.

So I just experienced these symptoms now what?

After you had your baby you will just go to your OB/GYN after six weeks for the check up and that’s it.

Your doctor will probably tell you that everything is fine and healed.

But what if you still have pain during intercourse?

First of all I want you to know that even it is not normal to feel pain during sex after giving birth it is very common.

So even if people don’t talk about it that much you are not alone.

And there is help. 

You can talk to your normal health care provider about options for treatment after ruling out any physical problems. (like a tear that isn’t healing properly)

There are a few things you can try at home like using more lubricant and trying to relax.

If the main problem is vaginal dryness your doctor may prescribe you estrogen cream to help with it.

couple

Have you ever heard of a pelvic floor therapist?

A therapist for your pelvic floor – that sounds crazy right?

Why would you need a therapist and physical therapy for down there?

Well simply because it can help you to finally go back to pain free sex that is enjoyable.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms you can check in with your insurance if they would cover services like that or if you have to pay out of pocket.

A pelvic floor specialist is a pro in this field and can give you helpful information and exercises that will help you.

More information on physical therapy

Laura Clery – a well-known influencer and mom talked about her and her husband not having sex for a full 6 months after having her baby and she experienced pain during sex.

She speaks up about it and shows a short interview with her pelvic floor therapist. You can find more information on her therapist here: Feminapt

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