Sex Talk

Is it normal to not want to have sex after having a baby?

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng answers your sex questions

18 June 2017 - 00:00 By Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng

Q. My husband and I have a six-month-old and are so happy. But I am avoiding intimacy and I worry about falling pregnant again.
A. People are different and our bodies recover at different rates. Don't feel pressured, or worry that you are not normal, if you don't feel ready to have sex. Having a baby causes physical and emotional changes for both partners and it can help to talk to your partner about your concerns. It may take some time, even a year, before you feel comfortable or ready to have sex.The earliest your periods can return is five to six weeks after the birth, if you are not breastfeeding. You're more likely to start having your menstrual bleed once breastfeeding begins to taper off. You can fall pregnant before your periods return because ovulation happens prior to menstruation.
You may choose to start contraception soon after the birth. You do not have to wait for your periods to return or until you have the six-week postnatal check before using contraception, because you could get pregnant again before that.Breastfeeding as a method of contraception was once popular; for those who want a more reliable method there are other options available. About two out of 100 people who use breastfeeding as a birth-control method get pregnant within six months of delivery.
Discuss your contraceptive options with your healthcare provider, taking into consideration your health, your desire for future fertility, and spacing of children.
Contraceptives that contain only progestin are compatible with breastfeeding and are a safe option.
• Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng (MBChB), sexual and reproductive health practice, DISA Clinic, 011-886-2286, visit safersex.co.za.
• Do you have a question about sex? E-mail your questions to lifestyle@sundaytimes.co.za with SEX TALK as the subject. Anonymity assured.

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