6 Great Tips For Managing Post-Childbirth Dyspareunia

Dyspareunia, or painful intercourse, is common among women after pregnancy. As a woman, I too have felt the pressure of returning to having sexual intercourse as quickly as possible after childbirth. 


This sense of rush was often fueled by guilt of denying my partner penetrative sex because of my discomfort and pain that I anticipate would happen. I also find myself thinking that if I allow the painful penetration to occur, I would be able to stretch out the scar tissue around my vagina and I would no longer suffer from dyspareunia.


I couldn’t have been more wrong. 


First and foremost, my idea of sex was completely skewed. Penetrative sex was the only type of sex that I knew, and I only went along with it to pleasure my partner and keep him happy - but the truth is, orgasms are not one-size-fits-all and there is no right or wrong way to orgasm.


If you’re currently struggling with dyspareunia after childbirth, please do not force yourself to rush into engaging in painful penetrative sex with a penis if you are not ready. Any amount of negative pain experienced will leave you desiring less sex and will hamper your arousal. 


Participate in sexual intimacy when you are desiring positive feelings and even an orgasm. Don’t just do it for your partner, you should enjoy the sex for yourself too.


Here are some tips for managing post-childbirth dyspareunia:


  • Get creative with sex

    • Seek out non penetrative pleasurable spots on your body like your clitoris and other regions of your vulva

    • Also seek out non penile pleasurable spots on your partner

    • This is a great time to learn more about each other sexually rather than being caught in the usual humdrum of penetrative vaginal sex

    • There are many clitoris stimulators and external vulva vibrators available

    • Remember “the party’s on the outside” – 80% of women have clitoral orgasms, compared to only 20% who have vaginal orgasms

  • Use tools like small vaginal vibrators

    • The smaller size makes penetration far more comfortable and the powerful vibrations also allow you to stimulate sensitive erectile tissue like the G-Spot in your vagina, allowing you to feel the arousal 

  • Use gradual increasing size of dilators

    • Incrementally increasing the size of dilators used allows you to painlessly and at your own pace stretch out scar tissue so they gradually break down 

  • Set an agreement with your partner with the sexual pleasures you can exchange

    • Speak about your deepest worries of penetration 

    • Discuss his openness to the use of vibrator and clitoris stimulator to assist with arousal which would help with your pain 

    • Talk about alternatives to penetrative vaginal sex, for example, more oral sex or a longer hand job

    • Ask him to share with you his sexual likes and dislikes and perhaps fantasies

  • Understand that the last thing your partner wants is to cause you pain

    • Respect yourself enough. Don’t have obligatory sex. You too must enjoy your sexual intimacy!

    • If it hurts, share that feeling with him and seek out alternative sexual experiences

  • Speak to a Doctor who practices Sexual Medicine

    • A doctor specialising in sexual wellness or a pelvic floor physiotherapist can assist you with treating scar tissue around the vagina and help you release triggered tight muscles around your vaginal canal and pelvic floor