17 answers

Painful Intercourse After C-section?

OK mamas, this is a personal one... but... I had a c-section and now my dd is 4 months old and we are trying to get back some intimacy. BUT, sex is super painful (only tried twice though since it is so painful!). It is SUPER tight and hurts. I am b-feeding so I do know that can lower libido and cause dryness. We do use lubricant (maybe not enough?) and try to take it slow (but not a lot of down time with the kiddos!)!! I should also mention that it has been awhile, as we weren't all that active during pregnancy. It is strange to have this after a c-section? Has anyone had this and did they do anything that was helpful to overcome it? How long did it take!?! I am thinking of taking some ibuprofen (or wine!!) or something beforehand, not sure if it will help though.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

It took awhile for us too, but it's worth it! Lubricant, foreplay, manual stimulation, all good ways to get things started! Good luck!!

More Answers

Dear E.,
My name is T. and I'm a mother of twin girls. I also had a c-section. I didn't have as much pain as you're having but it was uncomfortable all the time. I didn't get out of it until around the 5th or 6th month. I didn't do anything different to make it better it just finally did. So don't worry if it's taking you a little more time than expected to get over this rough patch in your sex life. It does end eventually.

i was a physical and emotional wreck and my dr neglected to mention the fact that sex might be painful so i thought i just wasn't into it. tried a bunch of different things that didn't work but i finally got an insert for lubrication that helped, tho i can't remember if i bought it OTC or from my dr.

i never had any incision pain during sex tho. i healed up pretty nicely altho i have a good amount of adhesions on the inside. good luck!

I had the same thing after my lasst 2 c-sections. Because you are nursing, your hormone levels are still off causing it to be uncomfortable. Talk to your doctor because he/she can prescribe something like "vagifem" which is a tablet you insert daily for two weeks, then about every three days after that. Unfortunately, there is some yucky discharge, but it does help the hormone balance and makes it comfortable again. It didn't go back to normal for me until I stopped nursing all together. I hope that helps.

It took awhile for us too, but it's worth it! Lubricant, foreplay, manual stimulation, all good ways to get things started! Good luck!!

I had that same problem! Its hormonal - due to the preganncy and enhanced by the breast feeding. Go to your doctor and ask for the vaginal cream that they perscribe for menopausal women. Basically you insert a small about of estrogen based cream and that assists the tissue to regain its elasticity and lubrication. I only needed to use it for about a month and things have been going much smoother since! Good luck :)

Hi E.. I never look at "Mamasource" anymore, but I just happened to look today! I wanted to respond to what you wrote about painful intercourse after a c-section. This also happened to my husband & I. I have had 2 c-sections. I was also nursing. I told my OBGYN about this problem & he gave me a prescription called "Premarin" There is not generic for it. It cost us about $50 after insurance, but it worked for us! It was a huge help!!! Then after a few months I did not need the cream anymore. Just wanted to pass this on to you & your husband! I pray it works for you guys also. Blessings, M. B.

As a military wife and a fellow c-section "survivor," I can tell you that what you're experiencing is completely normal. The nurses at the Navy hospital call it "deployment disease" because it happens everytime the husbands come back from being at sea. Simply put, your body got used to being without sex and started returning to a presex state (ie smaller and dryer). Just take it slow, maybe once every three days, use lots of lubricant, and be willing to gradually work yourself back to a practiced state. Make sure your husband is willing to work with you. He might have to work his way in gradually and back out some times. It can take a couple of weeks, and you might have to go without satisfactions some of the time, but things will return to normal soon.

Good luck.

I just read in FIRST magazine the other day that the BEST lubricant is coconut oil. It doesn't evaporate like water based lubricants and it's all natural AND it smells really good. I haven't tried it yet, how often do we get to have sex with three small people running around, but I intend to. I'm sure if you google it you could find out some more info. Just a thought:)

Hey E.,

I too had a c-section and returning to sex was quite painful and not enjoyable when we were cleared to have sex at 6 weeks. I too was breast feeding and was a bit dry down there. I think because the area didn't get "used" for a while it gets tighter. What helped us was a good lube lots of foreplay and some quality time together. I know how hard it can be to get time to yourselves but its so necessary in a marriage to focus on each other. I would also invest in a good lube. Someone else suggested wet naturals and I have to agree its the best non greasy non sticky lube I have ever used. If you can have an O before actual intercourse it will help as well because you will be more lubricated and ready to get things going. It does get better. You just need to make it a point to spend some quality time together.

Okay, first of all you have to WANT to do this..not too tired and all that. (As hard as not too tired is to come by right now.) Can you get a sitter for an evening (maybe at someone else's house? With no kids to bother you..you can do it anywhere..and that might help. My guess is that in surgery, and with any child birth experience..things move a bit..and things aren't aways quite back where they started. If there is pain..ask your doctor. Also, the Ibuprofen is a good idea, but I recommend naproxin instead. I am wondering if you are a bit bloated maybe..and that will help reduce swelling more than pain..which well may be the problem. If it continues despite your best efforts..this IS something your OBGYN should talk about with you and see if there is a real medical reason why it hurts..don't suffer the pain just to make him happy either :) Sweet as that sounds..no husband wants to feel you are "doing it for him..not with him". So, I suggest first of all that you recognize it for what it is...pretty normal. We all have "dry spells". Hopefully you are adjusting okay in other ways. The stress will tighten anyone up. I'd suggest heating up the bedroom a little..moisten the air with a humidifier..natural moisture works best but after childbirth our bodies wonder why we need that for awhile..so I think it quits making it as much at least in "that area". So, you have to coax it back. If you are breast feeding, or even if you are not sexual stimulation can bring on contractions. (Just like breastfeeding can, or any other type of stimulation of your "areas". This can make sex very difficult because now that there is "no baby" in there..the contractions are literally "shutting" down your womb area and since you had a C section that can take longer. Sometimes its that something is herniated though..so becareful..if there is any spotting or anything..definitely ask a doctor! However, new lube..never spit..;) No lace undies..as cute as they may be they can be very damaging to that area..and cause more harm than good in the end...and PLAY..play outside the bedroom too..there's no sin in your hubby giving you a big wet one in front of the kids..you need to feel a little more feminine perhaps and some good old fashioned Public displays of affection might be in order to get you in the mood. Yes, you have to try a little harder now but it will come. Think fast...best place in your house to do it when the kids are around that you won't get caught....grinz..in our old house the laundry room was it..now our bedroom is actually the answer to that question. Find your "quickie room" and have 10 minute make out sessions while youngest naps an oder one eats. Whatever..just get back into it where ever you can and I promise..if you are attracted to your spouse..playing 7 minutes in the closet makes a lot of sense while the two year old is occupied. No sin in making them watch a movie while you get a little..do it when YOU want to not when it is convenient and that will help..even if its not ALL the way..again..those kids won't suffer permanent damage if they catch momma a daddy makin out in the laundry room..And imagine if you are all "turned on" and you have to STOP...its hard to stop. SO, when you have to..plan on getting back too it..later..and later again..and later again til the kids are actually sleeping, you can get on with it because you will be ever so ready...grinz. IT does take time..good luck with "it"...

You are doing everything right (in my opinion). Sounds really familiar to my experiance. Just keep taking it slow, use what ever additives you need (luberacant), and YES a glass of wine can definitely help! Its almost like starting all over again, it takes a few times. Plus you just had major surgery, your body might feel healed but it will take more time than you think...I had both my babies C-section...

I was shocked when this happened to me after my first C-section. I was not afraid at all and then WOW! ouch. I was breast feeding as well. I ended up going to my doctor as even lube was not working well. I ended up taking an estrogen vaginal suppository every day. It was a little pill already loaded on an applicator. It was not uncomfortable to use. It did help, although lube was required as well. Everything was back to normal after we were finished breast feeding. So, I guess my advice would be to go see your doctor, it's worth it.

I had a c-section with my daughter...and the first time for me was extremely painful(it was at about 4 months for us too)..especially around the incision area..I too was wondering was was wrong..felt like too much pressure...
So we just took it easy for awhile after that...maybe start with some oral first...I usually wait till after my hubby has climaxed then he's softer and finish myself that way then he's not so hard and it's easier on me...my daughter will be 8 months on the 14th...so yes things will get better with time!

Hi E.,
Your pain is probably due to the changing hormone levels after pregnancy. When you are breastfeeding, your vaginal tissues are not getting enough estrogen. I would ask your doctor to prescribe you some vaginal estrogen cream like Premarin. You will apply a pea-sized amound to vulva 3 times weekly. I remember it made a huge difference for me. Good luck.

I experienced the same thing after both my c-sections. Lubrication helped, as did going slow. Be sure to communicate with you partner so he knows to slow down and be gentle. I was breastfeeding and on the mini pill for birth control so I had a double wammy. Eventually it has gotten better, but I don't know if it was before I gave up breastfeeding. Maybe try a different kind of lubricant if the one you are using doesn't seem to be working. Also, I found that it was mostly painful upon entrance, but once there it seemed to get better. I do admit that I just had to grit my teeth sometimes and hope he finished quick. I learned a few tricks to make that happen. It will get better. I hope you have a supportive husband and he will realize that sex after baby is not that easy for mom. Hang in there, keep communicating with him and it will get better. you and he may need to be a little patient though. Even though you didn't deliver vaginally doesn't mean that your body didn't go through some trauma down there. It takes time and patience. Good Luck!

The same thing happened to me - I figured I'd done too many kegels during prognancy! Between that, breastfeeding, and being absolutely exhausted, sex was NOT good! It really didn't get too much better until I stopped breastfeeding at 12 months, but with extra lubricant and an extremely patient husband, it become tolerable. (Now my DS is 18 months, and sex is fun again). :) I hope it gets better for you soon.

Ok you prolly have a few things going on here. Number one is don't expect everything to be the way it was before. You guys probably need a couple hours of uninterrupted time to really explore and get your groove back (date anyone?). Having some time will let you relax and loosen up (probably the tension of your new juggling act isn't permitting a stress-free session).

Try a few things. Try switching lubes - we just got this one called Wet Naturals (it's glycerine and paraben free) and it is so much better than the KY we had (albeit more spendy but really worth it). You might also want to try some different positions...like I said you guys really need a few hours to try things out. The wine might not be a bad idea! It may take a few sessions for things to loosen up, but it really will. Best of luck!

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