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Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Sex and contraception

New parents often joke about sex, or more often the lack of it. It is important to understand that it takes time to re-establish a couple's sexual relationship.

Resuming sex after birth is very much up to individual couples. Pain is usually a good guide in finding the right time.

For some couples waiting until the woman is ready may not be an issue however for other couples this may cause unhappiness and put strain on the relationship. Between 25 and 50 percent of women report that sex is a problem postnatally.

Sex may be more uncomfortable

  • after a forceps birth
  • after a tear or episiotomy
  • where the perineum continues to be painful
  • the woman feels tired and depressed

When the woman is breastfeeding or using the mini pill for contraception she may have a reduced interest in sex. The explanation for this is that her feelings may be affected by hormones. You may be feeling less attractive sexually after birth. Your muscles may feel less toned and you may have stretch marks, scars, leaking breasts and extra weight. Some of these changes will be temporary and some permanent. All of these changes become less important with time. If these changes prove to be an ongoing concern to yourself or your partner then it may be advisable to consult either your family doctor or a councillor.


Last Modified: Tuesday, 05 December 2023