Preparing for Sex Postpartum

March 1, 2024

You just returned from your 6-week follow up appointment with your medical provider and they cleared you to return to activities and sex. What are the first thoughts that go through your mind? Are you excited? Or hesitant? Maybe nervous or scared? Some moms are thrilled and get right back to it. Great! BUT the majority are on the other side experiencing feelings of anxiety and fearfulness. These feelings are common and completely understandable. We just birthed a baby! So let’s give ourselves some grace. Let’s discuss ways to help ourselves prepare for sex postpartum. 


This is key!!! Communicate with your partner on your feelings towards sex. Discuss with them on what you may or may not be ready for. Sex does not have to involve penetration. It can involve foreplay, kissing, oral, manual stimulation etc. If you find it difficult to communicate with your partner about intimacy, it would be helpful to schedule a session with a sex therapist. They can provide guidance in communication for you and your partner and ease any anxiety around sexual intimacy. 


There are several types of tools nowadays to not only help with pelvic floor recovery but also to help penetrative sex more comfortable. Ohnut is a popular tool that involves placing flexible rings around a penis to control the depth of penetration. Dilators are devices of various sizes ranging from smaller than a tampon to the size of a penis to gradually improve tissue mobility for initial and deep penetration. Condoms are another tool to use in case you opt out of birth control. 


Did you know that estrogen has decreased during postpartum? It typically does not return to normal levels until 6 months postpartum or until cessation of breastfeeding. Decreased levels of estrogen create vaginal dryness, tightness and tenderness. Utilizing lubricants can help with comfort during sex. There are different types of lubricants but two of the highly recommended types are water based and silicone based. Water based has a more natural feeling but does not last as long so may need reapplication. Silicone based is a bit more expensive but does not absorb into the skin so is longer lasting. 

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Many people see a physical therapist to rehab shoulders, knees, back etc from surgery or injuries. The pelvic floor is no different. Giving birth to a baby, whether vaginally or cesarean, can impact the pelvic floor and therefore needs rehabilitation. Sex is a function of the pelvic floor so of course pelvic floor physical therapists help with this! Pelvic floor physical therapists address the body as a whole but specifically the pelvic girdle and pelvic floor improving any dysfunctions in the pelvic floor and/or preventing them. They provide guidance in using tools, reducing any scar tissue and/or tension that may contribute to pain with sex.  

There's a lot of fear and anxiety surrounding return to sex postpartum. However, there is becoming more information and resources to improve any negative emotions associated with sex postpartum. Do not be afraid to reach out to a sex therapist/counselor or a pelvic floor physical therapist regarding questions or concerns surrounding sex. We are here to help!

Need any help? Contact me at Activcore Littleton to start feeling and moving better.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are based on the opinion of the author, unless otherwise noted, and should not be taken as personal medical advice. The information provided is intended to help readers make their own informed health and wellness decisions.

Dr. Chelsea Speegle

Physical Therapist
Chelsea Speegle is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) who specializes in pelvic health with a particular interest in helping pregnant and postpartum moms. She also specializes in men’s pelvic health. Chelsea works primarily at Activcore in Littleton, Colorado which is located inside the Womens Health Care Associates OBGYN clinic.


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Preparing for Sex Postpartum

You just returned from your 6-week follow up appointment with your medical provider and they cleared you to return to activities and sex. What are the first thoughts that go through your mind? Are you excited? Or hesitant? Maybe nervous or scared? Some moms are thrilled and get right back to it. Great! BUT the majority are on the other side...