Sex After C-section: Should you do it or wait?

The last thing you will want to do after a C-section delivery is to get in a hot steamy session with your partner. Before you turn on the hit with your partner, make sure to consult your doctor or midwife about the safety concerns.[1]

Prevention is better than cure. Since a lot goes into C-section, it is essential to take proper care of every aspect. Smaller adjustments in sexual life after delivery can lead to a healthy and everyday sexual life later.

As per the report, every one in four pregnant women will get a C-section delivery.[2] So, does the sexual life subside after that? Does it not affect the relationship?

Have a question? We have got the answers.

When can I have sex?

Often people think that they can have sex immediately after Cesarean delivery since the vaginal area did not undergo much trauma as compared to normal delivery. However, they are wrong. In the early postpartum period, you are bound to have a lot of problems with resuming sexual activities.

The time period of returning to sexual activity after C-section delivery will vary depending on the person. While most women resume it within four weeks, several women need at least six weeks to do sex after full recovery. However, many women do not prefer having sex for at least three months for extra safety.[3]

The cervix takes a minimum of three weeks to heal even after Cesarean delivery. Although women feel that by this time, they are ready to have sex, they really aren’t. You are the best time to have sex. The time you resume sex should be all about your comfort level.

While the recovery rate varies from person to person, most depend on whether the cesarean delivery was unplanned or extensive.

It is better to wait for you to notice symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, soreness, and fatigue. Also, it is better to avoid using tampons during this period.[4]


You may need to follow proper precautions even when your doctor says that it is safe to have sex. The incision site will have soreness and swelling, or the surrounding area will have stretched or tight feeling.

With healing, the incision site will become susceptible to tearing. Thus, you may prefer avoiding sex. Even if you opt for it, you need to ensure that you’re not indulging in vaginal sex or any other strenuous activity. You should avoid lifting heavy items.

Lifting heavy items will lead to bruises around the incision site, which will recover within a few weeks of surgery. If surgical staples have been applied to the vagina, the doctor will remove it during the discharge time. However, the abdomen will continue to be sore and tender in the following weeks.[5]

The entire vagina needs time to heal and return back to its regular shape before you start having C-section. Also, people who have undergone cesarean delivery will be highly prone to different infections. Nonetheless, the symptoms of these infections are easily noticeable. Some of the symptoms include the following.

  • Large blood clots
  • Foul odor due to vaginal discharge
  • Swelling
  • Pain and burning while peeing
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea
  • Severe pain
  • Leaking urine
  • High fever
  • Hives
  • anxiety and depression

Sexual positions to avoid

Once the doctor approves of having sex after your cesarean delivery, you need to talk to your partner.

Talk? But what?

The doctor may have given you approval, but there are high chances that your incision hasn’t completely healed. So, you need to be careful with the sexual positions you try.[6] The incision is likely to be sensitive to pressure, so you need to try on positions that can help to ease the pain.

The best thing to do is to avoid a missionary position because it puts too much pressure on the incision. However, you may keep trying positions that allow you side or rear entry or woman on top.

Although the incision heals within six-week, it will still be sensitive to pressure. Sometimes women feel a tingling sensation while having sex.[7] You may want to get in touch with your practitioner if you notice any pain around the vaginal area while having sex.

What to expect?

Not every woman feels like having sex after delivering a baby. This feeling may last for a few weeks or months, and it is completely normal.[8]

So, if you do not feel like having sex, do not rush. If you and your partner have just become parents, you are bound to become tired by taking care of the baby. So, sex doesn’t really rank on top of the priority list.

Sex is all about pleasure, and if anything causes you discomfort during sex, it is not worth it. Also, you are bound to be stressed for a while.

If penetration is uncomfortable, couples can focus on non-penetrative activities such as foreplay, massage that can help you relax.

Every person has a different recovery rate, so you need to be careful with it. You can indulge in sex as soon as you have healed if you do not have any sexual problems.

Does it bleed to have sex after delivery?

Vaginal bleeding is common after delivery and is referred to as lochia. The bleeding occurs to help the uterus get back to its normal shape.

Lochia is bright red in the initial period, but the color fades to orange or yellowish color with time. How much you bleed depends on what you have been doing after the surgery. You may also need to wear a pad during this period of lochia to avoid staining. Depending on your activeness, you may experience light or heavy bleeding from the incision site.[9]

Sex or any other stressful activity can break your incision, leading to heavy bleeding or blood clot.

Vaginal Lubrication

There are high chances that your vagina doesn’t lubricate itself. Thus, women may prefer taking vaginal lubricants to experience pleasure. If you are in hormone control birth pills or are breastfeeding, there are very low chances for you to experience lubrication.[10]

Although you may use artificial lubricants, foreplay can help to speed the natural lubrication process. Even if you are busy with the baby, make sure to take some time out and indulge in some intimate moments with your partner.[11]

If you want to have sex with your partner after giving birth, both of you need to follow a lot of restrictions and limit yourself to non-penetrative activities. Awkward encounters are common, but you need to keep up with it. If you are still experiencing pain and discomfort after the normal time frame, you need to visit your doctor soon.


[2]  Laumann EO, Paik A, Rosen RC. Sexual dysfunction in the United States: prevalence and predictors. Jama. 1999;2816:537–544. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

[3] Leeman LM, Rogers RG. Sex after childbirth: post-partum sexual function. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2012;1193:647–655. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

[4] Johnson CE. Sexual health during pregnancy and the post-partum CME. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2011;85:1267–1284. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]


[6] Kettle C, Johanson R. Continuous versus interrupted sutures for perineal repair. The Cochrane Library. 1998 [Google Scholar]


[8] Mohammadi K, HEYDARI M, Faghihzadeh S. The female sexual function index FSFI: Validation of the Iranian version. 2008 [Google Scholar]


[10] Yeniel A, Petri E. Pregnancy, childbirth, and sexual function: perceptions and facts. Int Urogynecol J. 2014;25(1):5–14. doi: 10.1007/s00192-013-2118-7. [PubMed] [CrossRef]