Sex After Childbirth: Is There a Risk of Perineal Tearing?
Intercourse is the last thing on most mother’s minds after giving birth. Childbirth can be traumatic and the body needs time to heal. A long labor, C-section, perineal tearing, episiotomy and exhaustion are just a few of the issues that may make a new mom reluctant to jump into bed with her partner.
Plus, the emotional toll of taking care of an infant can make sex an afterthought. Doctors usually recommend that women wait six weeks before resuming sex after childbirth to allow the cervix to close, post-partum bleeding to cease and any stitches or tears to heal. Sex before that could cause an infection because the lochia is still being discharged from the body.
Once the six weeks are up, some women have their libido back, while some choose to wait. For women who suffered perineal tearing, a laceration that separates the vagina from the anus during vaginal birth, the prospect of sex can be scary. Can the tear re-open during penetration?
Unlike an episiotomy when this area is intentionally cut to prevent tearing, a perineal tear is unintended and can be painful during and after labor. Most perineal tears heal without treatment but some more severe lacerations may require stitches and can cause serious bleeding and other medical issues.
There is always a risk of perineal tearing during sex, even without the complications of childbirth. Dryness is one of the main causes of perineal tears during sex, and the post-partum vagina is usually dry due to a sudden decline in estrogen and progesterone. Using lubricants during sex is one way to prevent perineal tearing.
For some women, tears lead to scarring and disfiguration of the perineum, which can result in vaginal looseness and a decreased sexual drive. This condition can be repaired through the narrowing of the vagina with perineoplasty surgery. This simple outpatient surgery involves repairing and tightening the tissues damaged during childbirth, giving new moms one of the best push presents possible: better sex!
To learn more about perineoplasty surgery, schedule your consultation with Dr. David Ghozland today by calling us at (310) 393-9359.