Making love after giving birth

You may or may not feel like having sex for a while after giving birth. Many women do not. This is normal. You may feel tired, out of shape or just not in the mood. When you do decide to have sex:

  • Wait to have sex until your bleeding stops and your perineum heals.
  • Use birth control. You can get pregnant 2 weeks after birth.
  • Breastfeeding does not stop pregnancy.
  • You can get pregnant without getting your period.
  • Your vagina may be dry. Use a lubricant like Astroglide®.
  • Talk with your partner about your feelings. Maybe you do not want to have sex but your partner does.
  • Find other ways to be intimate. This may be hugging, touching, or talking.

Planning or preventing another baby

Your body needs time to recover after having a baby. It may be healthier to wait 1 to 2 years to have another baby. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your partner:

  • Do you want to have another baby?
  • When do you want to have another baby?
  • Is birth control important to you?
  • What kind of birth control is right for you?

Click here to learn about different types of birth control methods


Sterilization is a safe form of birth control. It is permanent, meaning it cannot be undone. When you have the surgery (sterilization) after having your baby, both of the fallopian tubes are taken out. The tubes cannot be put back in the future.

What will happen if I have a post-partum sterilization surgery?

  • If you have a vaginal birth:
  • You can have the surgery after the birth of your baby, sometimes the same day or up to two days after the baby is born.
  • The surgery is done in the operating room.
  • A 1.5-2 inches cut (incision) is made above or below the belly button.
  • Both fallopian tubes are removed. 
  • The incision is closed with stiches that dissolve on their own. 
  • The surgery will take about 30 minutes. If you have a C-section (cesarean): 
  • The tubes can be removed after the baby is born. 
  • You do not need a different surgery (incision). 
  • The surgery will be about 10 minutes longer when the fallopian tubes are taken out.

What is used for pain if I have a post-partum sterilization?

  • Epidural or spinal anesthesia is used. This is an injection in the back. 
  • You are awake for the surgery. 
  • You might feel pulling or pressure, but should not feel pain. 
  • Sometimes, we need to use general anesthesia which means you are asleep with a tube to help you breath, but that is less common.
  • You can take Ibuprofen and Tylenol for pain. Some people need something stronger, and we can prescribe narcotic medicine.

What are the benefits of post-partum sterilization when both of the fallopian tubes are removed (salpingectomy)? 

  • Sterilization by removing the fallopian tubes can prevent pregnancy almost 100% of the time. 
  • Removing both the tubes is better to prevent pregnancy than old methods like cutting out a piece of the tube or placing clips or bands on the tubes.
  • It can reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer in the future.

What are the risks of sterilization with salpingectomy? 

  • There is a very small risk of bleeding, infection, and other surgical complications. 
  • There is a small chance that the surgeon cannot safely remove both tubes. If this happens a portion of each tube may be removed or the surgery may not be done. 
  • The surgeon will explain exactly what happened and if you need to use something else for birth control.

Will removing the fallopian tubes change my periods? 

  • Removing the tubes does not change your periods. 
  • If you have been using hormonal birth control and then stop after removing the tubes, you may notice changes in your periods.

What if I decide I want to get pregnant after I have my fallopian tubes removed? 

  • You should only have sterilization surgery if you are sure you do not want to have more children. 
  • This surgery is not reversible. You would need to use IVF (in vitro fertilization) to get pregnant. It costs around $10,000 and is invasive.

What are other birth control choices if I don’t want post-partum sterilization? 

  • There are lots of birth control options! 
  • Some birth controls are almost as effective at preventing pregnancy as sterilization. 
  • There is also a permanent sterilization procedure for men called a vasectomy. Your doctor or midwife can talk to you more about these options at any time.

What should I do if I want to have post-partum sterilization? 

  • Talk to your provider! 
  • You may need to sign papers before your due date. Your provider will help you with this.