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Pain after intercourse after childbirth.. What is the cause and what are the methods of treatment?

 Pain after intercourse after childbirth.. What is the cause and what are the methods of treatment?

Childbirth is considered   the end of a relatively long journey of nine months, as a woman needs  period to return to her normal life, especially her body, to return and recover, whether it is the vagina,  as the vagina suffers from swelling and infections after childbirth, especially natural childbirth, the uterus, or even the genital opening.

The percentage of women who suffer from pain during  sex  after childbirth is 50-60%, which is called (dyspareunia  ) , and some of them have these pains that last from 6-7 weeks, and of women up to 30% that pain continues until 6 months postpartum.

There is actually no difference in overall prevalence rates between normal vaginal deliveries or  caesarean sections , so it could happen to anyone.

What are the causes of intercourse pain after childbirth?

Dyspareunia or pain during intercourse is scientifically defined   as pain in the womb at the time of penetration, pain during intercourse, or pain at  orgasm .

Several reasons may lead to feeling the pain of sexual intercourse after childbirth, which are:

1. Vaginal dryness.

2. Vaginal tightness.

3. Vaginal relaxation.

4. Caesarean section

5. Psychological condition.

6. Stress and fear.

7. Bleeding.

8. A wound in the vagina.

9. In the case of a natural birth, a spontaneous tear of the perineum occurs, or the doctor makes an incision in it to facilitate the removal of the newborn, after which stitches are made for this incision, or it can be left to heal on its own, and in all cases it takes time for it to heal.

10- In the case of having sex after childbirth, the woman will feel pain resulting from this wound, especially if the doctor narrows the vagina according to the woman’s desire. 

Why does no one talk about the problems of intercourse pain after childbirth?

Doctors do not touch it!

While 69 new moms are being counseled about postpartum sexual health, these conversations focus largely on birth control, and when can they have sex again? (Depends very much on how well you healed from any cracks or tears.)

Therefore, if doctors do not prevent or warn against sexual intercourse after childbirth, it is often normal, and there is no reason to worry. 

However, even the doctor may not know if there is an inevitable problem that will occur at the time of intercourse, because you may not notice it until after your 6-week appointment.

Also, it can be embarrassing to talk about it beforehand, especially if you're not sure if this is normal or not.

So we'll provide you with information, so you can feel comfortable getting help if you need it.

Because the good news is that it is treatable! In fact, the treatment is generally very quick, so you don't have to suffer anymore.

Caesarean delivery

The pain of sexual intercourse is not limited to the woman who gave birth naturally, but can also be felt in the case of a cesarean section as well, as the woman develops problems in the  bladder  and intestines resulting from the scars of the birth process, which leads to dyspareunia.

In addition, the abdominal incision in a cesarean section affects the entire abdomen and pelvis, which causes the woman to feel severe pain  during the first month after childbirth, and she needs time to recover and be able to lead her life normally.

Vaginal dryness

Breastfeeding contributes  to a decrease in estrogen  levels   in the body, which leads to vaginal dryness, which increases the feeling of pain during intercourse as a result of the itching that women feel during penetration, and women may notice some blood after intercourse due to the dryness that affects the vagina.

Also, low levels of estrogen cause  a woman's sexual desire to decrease  , and she feels pain during intercourse.

Feeling anxious  and stressed

The woman's feeling of tension increases after giving birth as a result of her fear for the newborn and her great responsibility towards him, in addition to irregular  sleep  and the child's injury to some health problems that increase women's anxiety such as diarrhea, colic, colds , and others.

With the feeling of tension, a woman's desire and pleasure during sexual intercourse may decrease, and she may develop hormonal disorders that cause her to feel pain during  intimacy . 

Feeling afraid

Women also feel fear of having sexual intercourse after childbirth, as a result of stopping this practice for a long time, as well as fear of feeling pain after childbirth.

These fears lead to contractions and spasms of the vagina, which causes pain during  sexual relations , as sex requires relaxation of the pelvic muscles.

Vaginal infections

Some women suffer from vaginal infections after childbirth, as a result of postpartum bleeding   and the accompanying fungi and infections, which need special hygiene and care.

With the occurrence of these  infections  , sexual intercourse becomes difficult, and the woman feels pain during intimate relations, and in some cases the woman avoids having sex with her husband to avoid these pains.

What causes unwillingness to have intercourse after childbirth?

There are usually two main causes for these symptoms:

Low estrogen

One is a drop in estrogen as a result of fluctuating hormone levels, which may be exacerbated by breastfeeding, and can lead to  dehydration  and decreased libido (sex drive).

The second reason is pelvic floor weakness, which means that the pelvic floor muscles are weak or tight.

 pelvic cramps

The extra pressure on your pelvic floor from pregnancy often weakens your muscles, which is why leakage (incontinence) and prolapse are common.

The birth process may lead to cramps and pain in the pelvic area, as well as weak pelvic muscles, as a result of remaining in a fixed and uncomfortable position during childbirth, in addition to labor that affects the pelvic area. 

Thus, these spasms make it difficult to have sexual intercourse normally and increase the chances of feeling pain.

Ways to relieve intercourse pain after childbirth

Some methods help relieve the feeling of pain of sexual intercourse after childbirth, namely:

Movement and exercise

The more a woman moves after childbirth, the sooner she recovers from the trauma of childbirth, whether a natural birth or a cesarean section. It is advised to exercise  such as walking, not to be lazy and not move after childbirth.

Also, practicing Kegel exercises or pelvic floor exercises helps relieve spasms that affect the pelvic area after childbirth, so that  the muscles regain  their health and strength at this stage.

However, a doctor should be consulted first about appropriate exercises for women in the postpartum period, as there are exercises that are not suitable for women, especially in the case of a cesarean section.

Use of medical lubricants

Medical lubricants help facilitate sexual intercourse and relieve the feeling of itching when the vagina suffers from dryness resulting from low levels of estrogen in the body. It is recommended to choose good medical lubricants according to the opinion of the gynecologist.

Some natural oils also work   as lubricants during intimate intercourse, such as coconut oil, but this oil is not suitable if a man uses  a condom , as it can cause it to rupture during intercourse.


Women should practice exercises that help relieve stress and anxiety during this stage, such as yoga and meditation, as well as   deep breathing .

Some other methods also help reduce stress and a sense of relaxation , such as massaging the body with essential oils  and practicing favorite activities whenever the opportunity arises.

And when the tension is released, the woman's sexual desire will rise again, and she will also get rid of the vaginal cramps that cause intercourse pain.

Get a good night's sleep

It is difficult for a woman in the postpartum stage to get the body’s need for sleep, but this does not mean complete sleep deprivation, which affects her health and causes her many health and psychological problems.

She can seek the help of her husband to take care of the child while she sleeps, or seek help from a close person, such as a mother or sister.

Maintaining vaginal hygiene

A woman should take care of cleaning the vaginal area well after childbirth, in order to prevent infection with fungi and infections that cause pain, and this should be done by using a medical lotion suitable for the vagina, free of harmful chemicals and perfumes.

During the postpartum period, care must be taken to clean the vagina well and change  tampons  constantly, because postpartum blood can cause severe infections in this area. It is also recommended to clean the vagina well after sexual intercourse to protect the vagina from infections.

Cold compresses for the vagina

Cold compresses for the vaginal area help reduce swelling resulting from childbirth. Therefore, it is recommended to use these compresses in the postpartum stage to calm swelling and redness that cause pain.

You can use the compresses available in pharmacies, or replace them with ice cubes after wrapping them in a cotton towel, then start applying them to the vagina with slight pressure.

Postponing sexual intercourse

In the event that the feeling of pain persists after following the methods of overcoming it, it is advised to postpone sexual intercourse a little until recovery from the complications of this stage, and it is possible to talk to the husband about this matter and explain the reason for wanting to postpone the practice of intimacy for a short time.

It is also possible to visit the gynecologist and tell her about the problems of sexual intercourse after childbirth, as it can provide a set of solutions to overcome this stage and help the woman regain her ability to have sex normally.