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Ask An Expert: When Can I Resume Sex After Childbirth?

Ask An Expert: When Can I Resume Sex After Childbirth?

Our team of seasoned experts answer all your questions on pregnancy, delivery, children and women’s health, sexuality education and more.

Q: I had my first baby about a month ago. When is it best to resume sex?

Dr. Alex Kaoranu Molukwu (OB/GYN) says:

Typically, it will be safe to start having sexual intercourse in the neighbourhood of six (6) weeks. Childbirth involves very considerable hormonal changes, as well as emotional stresses. The uterus and cervix undergo significant changes during this process and need time to heal.

During the healing phase, the lining of the womb, especially the raw site where the placenta was attached to, is very susceptible to infection. The flow of lochia, which is a sign that the lining is healing, can last for three to eight weeks.

Other factors including sleep deprivation and exhaustion fuelled by the demands of caring for the newborn can affect how long you have to wait.

A vaginal tear or laceration, and episiotomy can take three weeks or longer to heal, depending on the severity of the injury. These affect how soon you can resume sex as well.

Note that sex too soon can cause not only pain but disruption in the healing process or a breakdown in the area.

Q: I am 2 months pregnant. The problem is, I produce a lot more saliva than I can handle. What can I use to stop or reduce this?

Christine Wild (Midwife, Nutritionist, Fitness Expert) says:

There’s no need to panic. Pregnancy poses lots of challenges to your body, give it more time to adjust. I’ll advise you eat in small portions, preferably 5 – 8 small portions per day. Also, drink two cups of sage tea per day. Rice waffles also absorb saliva.

Usually, oversecretion of saliva stops after three to four months of pregnancy. However, don’t panic if it doesn’t stop. See your doctor for treatment options. He may conduct a blood or hormonal study to decipher what the problem is.

Q: Recently, I noticed my 13 year old daughter is unusually jumpy around my driver. Is this enough sign that an abuse is going on? What other signs should I look out for to be sure and how do I help my daughter if my assumption is right?

Ololade Hector – Fowobaje (Sexuality Education/CSA Expert) says:
It’s not enough reason but indeed a very good one to suspect abuse. You have been vigilant enough to notice her body language and must improve on it by snooping around a little bit. Also, has she been moody and secretive lately? Telling lies? Is she ever alone with the driver, for instance on school runs? (This is a No-no!)

If you have not opened up a channel of communication by talking to her about sexual abuse before now (basic sexuality education) then this is the time to do so, highlighting calmly the dangers in being sexually active as a child/teen and how adults may take advantage of them. Then, ask her pointedly but calmly if anyone has been ‘touching’ her.

If you do confirm abuse, please contact an NGO which deals with CSA immediately. They will guide you on what to do.

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