An interesting study on painful sex after childbirth
A recent study (see reference below) asked 1507 women in Melbourne about painful sex after childbirth. It showed:
85% of women who had resumed sex by 12 months post partum experienced pain during first vaginal sex after childbirth
By 18 months post childbirth, 98% of women had returned to vaginal intercourse, with 24% of those women reporting painful sex. 44% of sexually active women at 3 months post birth reported painful sex.
Women who had an caesarian section or vacuum extraction reported higher rates of dyspareunia than those who delivered vaginally without a tear that needed stitches
Women who tore during childbirth, did not have higher rates of painful sex at 18 months post natal than women who delivered vaginally but did not tear
Other risk factors for painful sex at 18 months post birth: having had painful sex before pregnancy, intimate partner abuse and maternal fatigue
Breastfeeding women have higher rates of painful sex than non-breastfeeding women
For tips on how to prepare for returning to sex painfree, read this.
McDonald EA, Gartland D, Small R, Brown SJ. Dyspareunia and childbirth: a prospective cohort study. BJOG2015;122:672–679.