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The Surprising Sex-Related Side Effect of C-Sections

Sex after pregnancy

When I was preparing for my scheduled C-section, there were plenty of details I considered. When would I be able to lift heavy things again? What would my scar be like?

But a new study suggests there's a whole other facet to C-section recovery that most people would never even think to consider: painful postbaby sex!

Yes, it turns out that cesarean delivery is associated with persistent pain during or after sex, a condition known as dyspareunia. This is according to a new study, which sought to investigate which factors contributed to such pain. It also looked into breastfeeding, fatigue, postpartum depression, and even abuse.

More than 1,200 first-time mothers across Melbourne, Australia participated in the study. Most of those women who had resumed having sex by 12 months postpartum said they experienced pain the first time they did so after having their babies, and close to a fourth of those women still reported pain at 18 months postpartum.

But women in the group who had an emergency cesarean section, vacuum extraction, or elective C-section had double the risk of pain during or after sex at 18 months postpartum as women who had spontaneous vaginal births with intact perineums or unsutured tears.

Call it the painful side effect of surgery no one told you about (until now)!

Read about the 4 things that might shock you about sex after baby. And sign up for our pregnancy newsletters and keep up with the latest pregnancy news.

Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom. She's also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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