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You might have been very eager to be intimate with your partner again after giving birth, having only barely had the patience to wait out the time until your six-week postpartum checkup... only to find that sex after having a baby is painful. There are many reasons why sexual intercourse can hurt after you gave birth. What should you do if it happens to you?

To start with, the first time after you had your baby should be approached with caution. Many couples resume sexual relations before the six-week checkup, something that they may or may not have discussed with their healthcare provider. If you had any vaginal tears, an episiotomy, or a c-section, you should apply even more caution. We advise that you start with a massage or some foreplay and leave pressure out of the equation.

When you do get to actual intercourse, be careful and if you feel pain, stop. You may simply need more time to recover from your birth, and of course you should give your body that chance. If, however, more than six weeks has already passed since you gave birth (or eight weeks if you had a cesarean section), and you still feel pain, talk to your doctor about your problem. If you had an episiotomy, your stitches may have caused the vaginal opening to be too tight, or you may have scarring inside.

You could also have pelvic issues. Don't be embarrassed to discuss these things with your doctor, because it will certainly affect you. Your doctor can help you solve these problems. In the meanwhile, you may find that experimenting with different positions will help you enjoy your relationship again. A woman-on-top position gives you more control over sex. Side-lying intercourse is another position that some women find less painful after childbirth, because it puts less pressure on the vaginal area. And, you can also consider using a lubricant if you have been experiencing vaginal dryness.

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