How Can I Make Postpartum Sex Better?
Hello friends! 3 out of every 4 individuals experience postpartum sexual dysfunction—that’s a lot! (Hadizadeh-Talasaz, 2019). Common issues postpartum include urinary leakage with intercourse, vaginal bulge, vaginal dryness, and pain (Hadizadeh-Talasaz, 2019).
There’s good news! Pelvic floor muscle training postpartum has been shown to increase sexual function postpartum and help to avoid some of these problems. (Hadizadeh-Talasaz, 2019). Pelvic floor muscle training can typically be started immediately after birth.
Why does pelvic floor muscle training help with sexual function? Strong pelvic floor muscles, especially the superficial layer, are important for providing enough blood flow to the clitoris to sustain arousal and achieve orgasm (Hadizadeh-Talasaz, 2019). The pelvic floor muscles are also important in helping to keep pee and poop in at the appropriate times. If the pelvic floor muscles are tight and shortened, this can cause pain with penetrative intercourse.
For more tips on easing into intimacy postpartum, check out our Sex After Baby self-paced course.
What is pelvic floor muscle training? While we often think of engaging the pelvic floor muscles to strengthen them, knowing how to relax them is just as important. The first step is knowing where the pelvic floor muscles are and how to engage them. A common mistake is engaging the butt muscles, abdominals, or inner thighs instead of the pelvic floor. Watch the video below to learn how to find the pelvic floor muscles.
After you know how to find the pelvic floor muscles, it’s important to train them. Working on both endurance (sustained holds) and power (quick contractions) of the muscles is important. Join Jeanice for a quick 5 minute workout in the video below.
If you are struggling with pelvic floor muscle training or intimacy postpartum, ask your doctor for a referral or find a pelvic therapist near you at www.mypfm.com/find-a-pt. A pelvic floor therapist will be able to perform a thorough examination to help.
Note: It’s important to wait until cleared by your provider before resuming intimacy postpartum to allow for proper healing whether you had a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section. For most individuals this happens at your 6 week check up, but may be longer depending on individual circumstances.
To learn more about your pelvic floor, check out these great resources:
Watch our YouTube playlist Postpartum and Your Pelvic Floor
Watch Netflix for Your Pelvic Floor at Pelvic Flicks
Learn more about your pelvic floor on our Instagram
Visit our Amazon store for our favorite pelvic health products
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The Impact of Delivery on the Pelvic Floor with Dr. Sarah Boyles, MD, MPH, FACOG, FPMRS
The Role of PT for the 4th Trimester & Beyond with Marcy Crouch, PT, DPT, WCS
Written by Emily Reul, PT, DPT
Hadizadeh-Talasaz Z, Sadeghi R, Khadivzadeh T. Effect of pelvic floor muscle training on postpartum sexual function and quality of life: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Taiwan J Obstet Gynceol. 2019;58(6): 737-747.