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Resuming sex post pregnancy can take some time as the woman has to go through the initial phase of vaginal soreness and perpetual exhaustion before she can think of having sex. Whether a woman gives birth vaginally or through cesarian section, her body will require time to heal itself; and it is advisable to resume the intercourse only six weeks after childbirth.
Here are some of the common sex problems post-pregnancy.
1) An eager partner - Your partner might be ready for sexual intercourse but you are not. Even if it is six weeks after giving birth, when the wound inside has mostly healed and perhaps you're not sore anymore, you still may not want to have sex. This is because the hormones in your body are drastically changing, and the uterus is gradually shrinking and your episiotomy wound is progressively healing. In such situations, one should take it slow. Cuddling, kissing and spooning are some of the ways closeness can be fostered.
2) Delicate and tender breasts - Breasts may become sore, heavy and leaky due to nursing your baby. And it is natural after breastfeeding the whole day, one may wat them to be left alone at night. Wearing a nursing top or a tank top during sex is advised. Nursing your baby right before sex can also help as your breasts won't be as full and achy.
3) Sex won't feel the same - It is natural that after delivering a baby, sex won't feel exactly the same. This is because the vaginal muscles would be temporarily stretched out. And there is a chance of temporary soreness and inflammation within the vagina. Kegel exercises may help to get back on track.
So, in case you're a woman and felt strange about not being up for sex post your pregnancy, there's absolutely nothing to be stressed about. And men, if you are reading this tip, your woman needs you to understand her even more after her becoming a mother; so, treat her with utmost care. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a sexologist.
Female dyspareunia refers to painful intercourse. It is estimated that 8 to 21% of women experience this at some point in their lives. Pain during or after intercourse is disturbing and restricts partners need for intimacy. It leaves the partners with an unpleasant experience and may lead to frustrations, anxiety and fear of sex. There is little awareness among couples about dyspareunia and thus a painful experience is sometimes confusing for the other partner and often invites fights and arguments rather than support and understanding.
Women with dyspareunia suffer pain in genitalia or deeper in the pelvis, vulva or vagina. It is more common among women after menopause; however, many women experience pain right from their first sexual attempt or just after initiation while some at deeper penetration.
Causes of Dyspareunia could be medical, psychosocial or both. Medical conditions can be cured but often there are underlying personal and psychological factors which need to be addressed usually by counsellors or sexologists.
Diagnosis of the problem begins with a physical examination of the vulva. Apart from this an internal pelvic examination may also be required. A doctor takes into account the nature, extent and duration of pain in determining possible causes and deciding the mode of treatment. During interaction with the patient, various other psychosocial factors are also revealed that must be addressed for holistic treatment.
Medical conditions that could cause pain during or after intercourse are many including lesions, thin skin, scar tissues or ulcers. Infections like UTI, herpes, yeast infections, Chlamydia, trichomoniasis can also cause pain.
Treatment of infections is through drugs and creams.
- Apart from this, infections of the fallopian tubes or conditions like ovarian cysts, fibroids, tumours or endometriosis could be a reason for deeper and intense pain. In most of the cases, surgery is the option.
- Lack of oestrogen is another major cause for this type of pain. Oestrogen deficiency can cause lack of lubrication making vaginal area dry. This can cause painful friction during intercourse. Along with lubricants, an oestrogen treatment is given.
Apart from medical causes, fears or anxieties associated with sex can sometimes lead to pain. Lack of harmony in relationships can lead to loss of desire for sex leading to vaginal dryness and discomfort. A traumatic sexual experience of the past may also inhibit a partner to be at peace in the act and may invite psychosomatic problems. It is important for the partner to be sensitive and lend a hand of support. Understanding how a partner wishes to be caressed and touched and making efforts towards providing a sexually exciting experience can go a long way in removing partner’s inhibitions/fears and introducing positive sparks in the relationship. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a sexologist.
Painful or difficult intercourse is either caused by psychological or medical factors, such as dyspareunia. It is commonly known as painful intercourse due to various reasons and persistant pain in the pelvis region is a sign of it.
What an cause dyspareunia?
The causes of dyspareunia can vary, depending on when the pain occurs; during deep thrusting or penetration. Sometimes, emotional factors contribute to the cause as well.
1. Entry pain
Pain during penetration may be caused by the following factors:
- Insufficient lubrication: Inadequate foreplay can result in insufficient lubrication. Breast-feeding, menopause or childbirth can also cause inadequate lubrication.
- Irritation, trauma or injury: This includes irritation or injury from pelvic surgery, an accident, female circumcision or episiotomy (incision made at the time of childbirth to expand the birth canal).
- Skin disorder, infection or inflammation: Infections in the urinary tract or genital organs can result in painful intercourse. Skin problems such as eczema can also add to dyspareunia.
- Vaginismus: Uncontrollable vaginal wall muscle spasms can make penetration extremely painful.
- Congenital abnormality: Problems during birth, such as lack of a fully-developed vagina or underdevelopment of the hymen are some underlying causes.
2. Deep pain
Deep thrusting can be attributed to the following causes:
- Certain conditions and illnesses: These include ovarian cysts, haemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, cystitis, uterine fibroids (benign growths in the uterus), retroverted uterus (uterus that is tilted), uterine prolapse (a condition characterized by the uterus sagging from its usual position), pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis (uterus lining tissues growing outside one’s uterus).
- Medical treatment or surgeries: Medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation or surgeries like hysterectomy (a surgical technique to remove either a part or whole of the womb) can result in dyspareunia.
3. Emotional factors
- Psychological problems: Depression, anxiety, body image issues, relationship problems or intimacy fears can affect arousal and result in pain.
- Stress: Pelvic floor muscles are affected by stress. This contributes to pain during sex.
- Past sexual abuse: Dyspareunia commonly develops in women who have been abused in the past.
The symptoms of painful intercourse include:
1. Pain only during entry (Sexual penetration)
2. Any penetrative activity is painful; even inserting a tampon becomes painful
3. Sudden sensation of pain, especially if sex before was painless
4. Deep pain while thrusting
5. Aching or burning pain
6. Throbbing pain, persisting hours after sex
We always think of wearing something cosy to bed to get a good night's sleep. We even dress up kids to be comfortable and bundled up so they can get a sound sleep. Studies have shown that contrary to popular belief, sleeping nude is the best way to a sound sleep.
In addition to good sleep, there are other benefits that have been identified too, as listed below:
- Improves sleep quality: While most of us think of keeping ourselves cosy in our nightwear leads to good sleep, science believes otherwise. A reduced core body temperature is what leads to better sleep. This happens when you sleep with no extra layers of clothes to keep you warm. Research conducted showed better depth of sleep and reduced number of awakenings when there are no extra clothing layers.
- Better skin and hair health: Melatonin and growth hormone are essential for anti-aging and they are released when the body temperature is cooler, which happens when sleeping in the nude. Growth hormone is essential for bone mineralization, improved immunity, and muscle mass building. Melatonin is a good hormone regulator, and manages the functioning of other hormones essential for our body. The armpits and groin area are always covered, and sleeping without clothes can help these areas breathe and feel fresher. The chances of yeast infection are also reduced.
- Reduced stress levels: The stress hormone cortisol is also optimal, both in release and function, when the body gets a good sleep. This is essential for better immunity and cognitive function, better sugar regulation. Reduced stress leads to reduced chances of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc. Therefore, sleeping without clothes helps to better equip you with fighting stress.
- Weight loss: Our body has two types of fat, both brown and white. While fat helps to keep the body warm, sleeping without clothes burns more of this fat and thereby, increases weight loss. Another mechanism is the good sleep that you get when sleeping without clothes helps improve metabolism, reduce fat and sugar cravings, thereby further adding to weight loss.
- Improved relationships: Needless to say, getting into the habit of sleeping without clothes will help your sex life. The science behind it is the improved release of oxytocin, which is the cuddle hormone.
- Better sperm quality: The testes produce better sperm quality when body temperature is cooler, thereby improving male fertility. Warm clothes at night also has a bad effect on testosterone, which is essential for boosting libido and other male sexual features.
There you go, a lot of valid scientifically proven reasons to drop those night suits and pajamas off what is more, there is also a cost saving here!
During pregnancy, your body is subjected to several physiological changes including increased hair fall, continuous indigestion, headaches, development of varicose veins, skin pigmentations and so on. The growing baby bump hinders free movement as well. Quality time with your husband or partner is helpful, but is not the best way to relax you. During pregnancy many partners stop having sex due to body issues. Intercourse is extremely important to comfort an expecting mother. Going by a few sex positions cited below, partners can enjoy pregnancy without a speck of stress.
1. Spooning- In spooning a woman lies on one of her sides while the male partner lies behind her on his left or right side. Both partners should lie on the same side or if not they will end up turning their backs at each other. Penetration happens from behind. This position enables shallow penetration, which is good for the baby.
2. Do it like a clip- In this case two bodies should align like a clip. The man lies on his back while the woman is on the top facing him. Her knees are folded next to him and she is in the shape of an arch. Her hands serve as support as they are firmly placed on the bed behind her arching back. There is ample space for the bump.
3. Perch on him- It is healthier to avoid pressure on the abdominal region when pregnant. Make your man sit on a stable surface; say a stool or a chair. Sit on his lap with your back against his chest. This way the woman can regulate the depth of penetration by moving backward and forward. She is on her toes and her abdomen faces no weight.
4. Do it the Amazon way- The Amazon style of intercourse needs to be carried out on a chair or a stool. The male partner remains seated while the woman sits on his lap facing him with her legs across his sides. The baby bump is comfortably positioned between the partners and the lady takes charge by moving up and down.
5. Doggy style- The doggy style keeps the expecting mother away from exertion. She crouches on her hands and legs while the male partner enters her body from behind.
6. Living Room style- Let your rounded belly rest against the softness of the living room couch. Kneel on the couch to suit your feasibility, while your partner penetrates you from behind. The pregnant woman balances her body by holding on to the couch with her hands.