Why is sex painful after giving birth?

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Author: Hegenberger Medical

Bringing a child into the world is a beautiful and transformative experience for parents. However, along with the joys of parenthood, some new mothers might find themselves facing unexpected challenges, including the issue of painful sex after childbirth. This blog aims to shed light on this sensitive topic, provide insights into the causes, offer potential solutions, and most importantly, offer support to those experiencing postpartum intimacy difficulties. 

After giving birth, many women experience physical and emotional changes that can affect their sex life. Some common issues include vaginal dryness, hormonal imbalances, perineal tears, and scar tissue from episiotomies or C-sections. These factors can lead to discomfort, pain, or anxiety during sexual intercourse, making the prospect of intimacy daunting for new parents. 

So, what could be the cause of Painful Sex After Childbirth: 

Physical Trauma: Vaginal tears, episiotomies, and C-section incisions can cause soreness and discomfort, making penetration painful during sex. 

Hormonal Changes: The abrupt drop in estrogen levels after childbirth can lead to vaginal dryness, reducing natural lubrication and causing friction during intercourse. 

Emotional and Psychological Factors: The demands of new parenthood, sleep deprivation, anxiety, and body image issues can significantly impact a woman’s libido and overall comfort during sex. 

Fear and Tension: Anticipating pain during intercourse can lead to involuntary tensing of muscles, making the experience more painful and creating a cycle of anxiety and discomfort. 

Seeking Professional Help: 

Experiencing painful sex after childbirth is not uncommon, and it’s essential to remember that you’re not alone. If you find yourself struggling with postpartum intimacy, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Your gynecologist or a pelvic health specialist can offer valuable guidance and suggest appropriate treatments or therapies. 

Communication with Your Partner: 

Open and honest communication with your partner is crucial during this time. Remember that both of you are navigating a new phase of life, and expressing your feelings and concerns can help strengthen your bond. Understanding each other’s needs and being patient with one another is essential as you work through this challenging period together. 

How to overcome Painful Sex: 

Take It Slow: Rushing into intercourse might exacerbate the pain. Focus on other forms of intimacy and explore non-penetrative activities until you feel more comfortable. 

Use Lubrication: Incorporating a water-based lubricant can ease discomfort caused by vaginal dryness and reduce friction during sex. 

Pelvic Floor Exercises: Kegel exercises can help strengthen pelvic floor muscles, potentially alleviating discomfort and improving overall sexual health. 

Experiment with Positions: Some sexual positions might be less painful than others. Experiment with various positions to find what works best for you and your partner. 

Relaxation Techniques: Engaging in relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing or meditation, can help reduce anxiety and muscle tension during sex. 

Wait for Healing: If you had perineal tears or underwent a C-section, give your body ample time to heal before resuming sexual activity. 


Experiencing painful sex after having a baby is a common concern for many new mothers, but it’s essential to remember that this phase is temporary and can be overcome with patience, understanding, and support. Whether you choose to seek professional help or explore solutions together with your partner, remember that your well-being matters. Be kind to yourself during this time, and remember that with time, communication, and self-care, you can rediscover the intimacy and joy in your postpartum sex life. 

The information found anywhere on this website, including but not limited to text, graphics, images and any other material therewith is for information purposes only. No material on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional personalised medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Always seek the advice from a registered health care professional if you have any questions regarding any medical concerns or conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

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