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Painful Post-Baby Sex

Nearly one in three women reports having painful sex up to a year after birth, according to a new survey from the University of Derby in England. Here's how to take the pain out of love.

Take your time. Avoid intercourse until your tears or incisions (including c-sections) have healed, usually about a month, says Paul Indman, M.D., a gynecologist specializing in pain disorders in Los Gatos, CA. It may take longer if you experienced complications.

Smooth things over. Hormone levels plummet after birth, which can cause vaginal dryness. Try a water-based lubricant, such as Astroglide or K-Y jelly (petroleum-based products can be irritating).

Start slow. Begin with positions that let you control penetration -- and then give yourself a gold star for getting back in the sack.

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