Most women say they start having sex again six to eight weeks after giving birth to their first child, according to a new study from Australia.
The study periodically surveyed 1,507 first-time mothers living in Melbourne, Australia about their sexual activity within the first year after childbirth.
Overall, 41 percent said they had resumed vaginal sex within 6 weeks after delivering their baby, 65 percent by eight weeks, 78 percent by 12 weeks and 94 percent by 6 months.
Generally, the women said they had engaged in some type of sexual contact before resuming vaginal sex, with 53 percent saying they had engaged in some type of sexual activity by 6 weeks after childbirth.
Operations such as a Caesarean section, or the use of forceps during delivery tended to delay the resumption of sex. At 6 weeks, 45 percent of women who had a undergone a C-section and 32 percent who had had n assisted birth said they had resumed vaginal sex.
An incision or tear in the perineum, the region between the vagina and the anus, reduced the likelihood of having sex at 6 weeks: just 32 percent of women who had had an incision and 35 percent who had sustained a tear had resumed sex at this time.
Because just 10 percent of women will give birth to their first child without suffering a trauma to the perineum, it is reasonable for most couples to anticipate a delay to the start of vaginal sex after childbirth, the researchers said.
"This is useful information for couples to know before their baby is born, and may help reduce feelings of anxiety and guilt about not resuming sexual activity sooner," said study researcher Ellie McDonald, of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne.
Because the study was conducted in Australia, it's not clear if the results apply elsewhere.
Many factors influence when a couple engages in sex again after childbirth, and the decision will be different for each couple. Many doctors recommend delaying sex for four to six weeks after childbirth to allow the cervix to close, bleeding to stop and tears to heal, according to the Mayo Clinic.
When couples do start having sex again, proper use of birth control is important if the couple does not want another child right away. Some studies show that a short time period between pregnancies is linked to an increased risk of complications such as preterm birth and a low birth-weight baby.
The study will be published Feb. 27 in the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Most of us assume that sex is the last thing on the minds of sleep-deprived new mothers.
But new research suggests that nearly half wait just six weeks after giving birth to rekindle the romance.
Australian researchers found that 41 per cent tried sex within six weeks of giving birth. By 12 weeks, this had risen to 78 per cent and 94 pent by the six-month mark.
Nearly half of first-time mothers wait just six weeks after giving birth to have sex again
Older mothers and those who had undergone Caesarean sections took longer to get their sex lives back on track.
Those who had sex within six weeks of birth were less likely to have undergone surgery or a forceps delivery or suffered an injury such as a cut or a tear during birth.
Forty five per cent of women who had a Caesarean section, and 32 per cent of women who had a forceps-assisted birth resumed sex within six week, compared with 60 per cent who had a normal vaginal delivery.
However, the paper also states that only about 10 per cent of women having a first baby will achieve a vaginal birth without intervention, tear or cut.
The proportion of women having sex within six weeks of childbirth is also lower among older mothers; 40 per cent of 30 to 34-year-olds resumed sex within six weeks, compared to 63 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds.
The research, which was carried out by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, in Victoria, Australia, also found that sexual activity was resumed earlier than vaginal sex – 53 per cent of new mothers resumed some sexual activity within six weeks of giving birth.
Those who had sex within six weeks of birth were less likely to have undergone surgery or a forceps delivery
The study was published in the leading journal BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
The NHS does not give a recommended waiting time after birth – it suggests that new parents take their time and wait until they feel comfortable resuming penetrative sex.
Lead study author, Associate Professor Stephanie Brown, said: ‘The most important finding from the study is the wide time interval over which couples resume sex after childbirth.
‘Most couples do not resume sex until after 6 to 8 weeks postpartum, and many delay much longer than this.
‘This is useful information for couples to know before their baby is born, and may help reduce feelings of anxiety and guilt about not resuming sexual activity sooner.’
John Thorp, BJOG Deputy Editor in Chief said: ‘It is very common for women and their partners to want information about when sexual activity may be safely and comfortably resumed, and what to expect in relation to the impact of childbirth on their relationship.
‘Having reliable information to guide clinical practice can dispel common myths about what is normal during the postnatal period as well as enabling clinicians to tailor information to a woman’s individual circumstances.
‘This study provides important new evidence to guide information given to women and their partners about what to expect after childbirth. However, it is important to remember that these decisions are down to the individual couple and when it feels right for them.'
However, the National Childbirth Trust recommends that new mothers do not have sex until their post-birth bleeding stops because they otherwise risk infection.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2285242/Nearly-half-new-mothers-wait-just-SIX-weeks-giving-birth-having-sex-again.html#ixzz2M7cab8Ja
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