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Painful Sex After Baby? You're Not Alone!

Man and woman in bed
No one wants to talk about sex after baby...especially painful sex after baby. Moms may think they're alone in feeling pain, and be too embarrassed and confused to talk about it.

Turns out, 9 out of 10 women actually experience pain when having sex for the first time after birth. And 1/4 of women still experienced pain even at 18 months.

According to the new study, researchers in Australia gathered data from 1,200 first-time moms -- almost half the women had vaginal births while almost 30 percent had a C-section. The women were asked questions about sex at five different times, once prepartum (at 15 weeks) and four times postpartum (at 3, 6, 12, and 18 months).

Women who gave birth via C-section or vaginal vacuum extraction were also two times more likely to have pain, even at 18 months post-birth, than women who had more natural vaginal births. HealthDay reports:

"Two things surprised us, [including] the fact that almost all women experience pain the first time they have sex after childbirth, whether they resume sex in the first six weeks or delay until three or even six months postpartum," said study author Stephanie Brown, a principal research fellow at Murdoch Children's Research Institute.

"Second, there is a common assumption that women who have a cesarean section are less likely to experience sexual difficulties after childbirth," she added. "That turns out not to be true."

Although the researched is based on Australian women, women in the U.S. (and around the world) can benefit from having a more open dialogue about painful sex, which is more common than most believe.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com who covers baby-related content. She loves collecting children's picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea

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