UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - West

2255 John F Kennedy Road
Dubuque, IA 52002

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When is it okay to have sex again after giving birth?

Mom's First Year: Sexual Activity

When is it okay to have sex again?

Your health care provider may advise you to wait four to six weeks, before resuming sexual activity. 

Once the episiotomy or incision has healed, and bleeding has stopped, it can be okay to have intercourse. But only when you feel ready. This is a sign that the lining of the uterus has healed. 

You and your partner will know when it is comfortable.

You may find your vagina feels dry, making sex uncomfortable. This can last as many as six months due to changing hormone levels. To help lubricate your vagina, you may purchase a water-soluble lubricant (such as K-Y Jelly) from your local drug store. This will act as a lubricant to help make intercourse more comfortable.

For the first several months after the delivery, you may feel your sexual response is less than before childbirth. It is normal to feel that your sexual life is somewhat limited by the baby's needs and by being tired. But this is usually a temporary feeling.

You may try to spend time together or be intimate in other ways. Try:

  • Date nights
  • Couples massage
  • Candlelight dinners
  • Explore senses with aroma therapy, music, different foods 


AWHONN. (2006). The Compendium of Postpartum Care, 2nd Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Medical Broadcasting Company.

Riley, L. (2006). You & Your Baby: Pregnancy. Des Moines, IA: Meredith Corporation.