A recent study from Purdue University suggests that women’s practitioners asses the old, “No sex until six weeks,” guideline that’s been set for what seems like forever, and instead, offer timely and individualized recommendations for postpartum women to resume having sex.
Though it might seem a bit obvious–listen to your body and follow it’s whispers–now research from Purdue University advises women’s health practitioners to offer their patients individualized guidelines about postpartum sex again, instead of giving the blanket, “Wait six weeks.”
The team’s results were published in the Culture, Health & Sexuality journal, and suggest that individual circumstances and situations were more appropriate for women to use when deciding to have sex after childbirth, and the ‘six-week’ rule is a bit too blanket for most women when it comes to postpartum sex.
Dr. Andrea DeMaria is an assistant professor in Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences. She led the study and says that the study’s participants most often were told to resume sex after six weeks from their baby’s birth. She says that they found that many women were ready before six weeks, based on personal and/or partner desire, and that others were not ready because it was still painful or they were tired–so the six-week recommendation just added stress.
Generally speaking, physical recovery also plays a large part in a woman’s desire, as does her energy level, her motivation and especially the balancing out of hormones that may make her more or less inclined to want to have sex.
The study suggested that by 12 weeks postpartum, most mothers who bristled some at six weeks seemed more amenable to postpartum sex, but that clinicians should really rethink whether or not they tell every patient to wait a minimum of six weeks, and to instead, tailor recommendations based on the patient’s input and health status.
Surprise, surprise…individualized care that looks at the whole woman during her postpartum period. Novel concept.
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