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I recommend waiting six weeks before having intercourse mainly because that's when most women go in for their postpartum exam. At that time your healthcare provider will make sure that your vagina and perineum have healed enough for sex to be safe and pleasurable.
Why do I need to wait to have sex after giving birth?
There are good reasons for the recommendation not to have intercourse immediately following delivery, whether you've had a vaginal birth or a c-section. The uterus and cervix undergo significant changes during the process of delivering a baby, and they need time to heal.
During this healing phase the lining of the uterus, especially the site where the placenta was attached, is susceptible to infection. Intercourse, douching, tampons, and anything placed in the vagina may introduce bacteria, and cause an infection.
The flow of lochia, which is a sign that the lining is healing, can last from three to eight weeks. When the lochia flow is no longer bright red, it signals that healing is near completion, and it's probably safe to have intercourse again. However, if you're still healing from an episiotomy or vaginal tear, you'll need to wait longer still.
Can I have sex if I have stitches after giving birth?
A vaginal laceration, rectal tear, or episiotomy that requires stitches can take three weeks or longer to heal, depending on the extent of the injury. If you attempt intercourse too soon, not only can you cause yourself pain, you can also disrupt the healing of the wound and possibly cause a rupture that requires another surgical procedure.
Where to go next
Find out whether sex might hurt the first time after giving birth
Learn about how breastfeeding affects your sex drive
Know your options for birth control after having a baby