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Seriously...how are your vaginas?

post #1 of 105
Thread Starter 
Okay. I have great girlfriends and we pretty much let it all hang out in our discussions about birth and beyond, but there is one thing that I am not sure we are honest about and that is our vaginas (vulvas, perineums). I recently gave birth for the first time (4 months ago), and after hearing everyone say that they were "back to normal" regardless of their birth stories.

I, unfortunately, ended up with an epiosiotomy - my midwife stated that she was avoiding what looked like it might be a 3 degree tear - that and my son's heartrate was low and slow to recover in between the last contractions and there was meconium etc. In any case, I just don't feel "back to normal" and I'm pretty sure I won't. I think maybe I have had unrealistic expectations of what "normal" would be after birth. Should I have expected to heal completely or is it just "normal" that your vagina (vulva or perineum) will never be the same again - after all I did just push out a baby!!

Any thoughts and honest opinions are appreciated.
post #2 of 105
I agree that most of the discussions on this seem to be a bit candy coated. My stuff is NOT back to normal-First baby 7 months ago. And for me it wasn't even the small tear. It almost like my vagina was a puzzle and it was put back together with one extra piece. I had the flashy golf ball hangin out for a couple months, I still sometimes feel a tiny bit of pee squirt out when i sneeze, my clitoris seems smaller, the list goes on and on.
Now, the problem with talking about this, especially among women who had C-sections, is that they tend to point to these issues as justification for C's. :
I will tell you that at about 4 months, I felt the worst. That was when it was the worst and it's been getting better since. I'm hoping that about the same time I've lost all the baby weight, all of me will be back to "normal."
post #3 of 105
My baby was literally stuck in my vagina for 2 hours. We eventually had a failed forceps (pulled 3 times) and then a c-section. For 6 months, when having sex or using a tampon I could feel exactly where she had been. There was a circle of pain, iritated area 3/4 the way in my vagina.
post #4 of 105
My vagina is better than ever. Honestly! Intercourse used to be painful occasionally, but now I've loosened up, and everything is much nicer. So for me childbirth really helped.

I did have an episiotomy, and it healed up well after a few weeks.
post #5 of 105

I needed physical therapy "down there"

with my 1st I had what I refer to as a blow out. My midwife couldn't even tell me how many stitches. She just said "a lot". 6 months out I still was in too much pain to have sex. It felt like I was smaller somehow. So my midwife referred me to a physical therapist specialist who worked at stretching the tissue that was tightened due to scar tissue. I took about 2 months of weekly visits and I was "back in business" so to speak. and yet things were still different. My clitoris was hard to find, and there was definitely a bit of a stretched out look and feel to things. Add nursing hormones to that and sex was not really that great, at least for me.

Now with baby #2 I only had an episiotomy instead of being ripped to shreds like before. Despite pushing the 10 lbs bundle of joy though my hoohah, I'm relatively the same as prior to my pregnancy with her.
post #6 of 105
I had a first degree tear and everything seemed to go back to normal once it was healed.
post #7 of 105

Age related?

Just wondering...could this be age-related at all? I'm 37 with first babe and it's taking a while to heal even though I only had a small 1st degree tear and baby practically shot out of me.
post #8 of 105
It has been 2.5 years since my last of three vaginal deliveries and my vagina is fine. Had an episiotomy with my first and a couple of stiches with a tear with my second.

Honestly, I felt more sensitivity there after vaginal childbirth than I ever did before. In a very good way, I mean
post #9 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by NokomisThree View Post
Just wondering...could this be age-related at all? I'm 37 with first babe and it's taking a while to heal even though I only had a small 1st degree tear and baby practically shot out of me.
Could be, I was 26 when my son was born.
post #10 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHeartO View Post
Okay. I have great girlfriends and we pretty much let it all hang out in our discussions about birth and beyond, but there is one thing that I am not sure we are honest about and that is our vaginas (vulvas, perineums). I recently gave birth for the first time (4 months ago), and after hearing everyone say that they were "back to normal" regardless of their birth stories.
I think cosmetically things will be different for most women. In terms of function sexually I think there can still be a ways to go even 4 months after birth. Do you do any kegel exercises? For me that seems to be what gets things back on track after birth.

And, I DTD only a couple of weeks after my second (no tears with the last two births), and there was a definite difference in terms of muscle strength and tightness at that point...but things 'got back to normal' after I had used my kegel exerciser.

Honestly, here in a lot of respects here it is better with regards to sex. Since my 'hymen was blown' (maybe that's the term I'll use) I don't seem to get the same irritation during intercouse that I used to when it was prolonged.

In terms of orgasm, etc. things are as good as they ever were, if not better actually. I can't tell how much of that is the birth or the fact that I'm probably around the stereotypical sexual peak for women. LOL

I've actually had more complaints from women who had sensations of being 'too tight'...claiming that their OB used a 'husband stitch' or that overly agressive suturing left them with so much scar tissue. I don't know if it is why I've been OK, but when it came to my first birth where I had a first degree tear stitched I believe that the mw was rather conservative with how she stitched it. I don't seem to have much scar tissue at all there.

It does seem like most women who have an episiotomy have much more difficulty down there with pain as well. My good friend had one with her first, and it was over a year before she felt Ok about intercourse again. My mom apparently had one with all her kids. As did my SIL. Their experiences healing and with pain/intercourse sound rather horrible in comparison to the majority of moms I know who birth naturally and only rarely or occasionally have stitches for minor tearing.

As for someone who commented about c-section mom's using it as justification...well, I've met c-section moms who have had a lot of pain with intercourse after their section...for months. They too can develop scar tissue. Some women can also have pain that lasts permanently, and intercourse sensations do change for them as well. I've known a couple who have said they were amazed at how much pain they had afterwards. Again--it's a matter of scar tissue. Exterior vaginal and perineal scar tissue is a lot *easier* to treat than internal scar tissue.

I really think all of this is so variable.
post #11 of 105
At 27 and after 3 children, 3 second degree tears, I can honestly say am a ruddy mess down there. To make it worse, I now have a prolapse.

Not long after DH and I got together I developed vestibulitis, sex was a nightmare, very painful, first birth reduced the symptoms but the birth was traumatic (mentally, it still affects sex) and my tear wasn't sewn properly, so sex was again difficult. After second birth, my previous crap repair was dealt with but sex was still an issue to the mental aspect of first birth. I was feeling great after most recent birth, but the discovery of the prolapse and seeing my perineum in such a state has made me wonder whether I will ever have enjoyable sex or ever feel comfortable about myself.

I feel like a wreck. Part of the problem is my health problem which can cause tissue fragility and that together with pregnancy has pretty much ruined my body. If I had been diagnosed pre-children, I wouldn't have had any, not for vanity issues but the physical problems it has caused.
post #12 of 105
3 vaginal births, the last one 4 years ago - I honestly think mine is back to normal, although I guess it's possible I don't remember what "normal" was. I had no tears, though, and have done tons of kegels, so that may explain it. Things look a bit different, but feel the same.
post #13 of 105
With both babies, it seemed to snap back to normal within 6 weeks. Sometimes it actually feels tighter during intercourse. Who knew? I only had minimal tearing with DD ( 3 stitches?) and no tears with DS.
post #14 of 105
Thread Starter 
well if nothing else I find this discussion refreshing! I am curious to know what the "flashy golf ball" is referring to as I think that might be what I am experiencing...and I love that someone else uses the word "hoohah" . I think the reason I like the responses so far is the acknowledgement that things can look different, but feel the same - largely this is how I feel about my situation. My episiotomy site isn't perfect, but for the most part feels okay. I have been doing lots of kegels and generally feel like I could bench press a few reps with my vagina, it just looks and feels different on the outside - a bit more exposed you might say. My husband claims it feels fine to him and although I have asked him to be really honest, I still suspect he is only going to say that! As to the age related question, I suspect so as well - my midwife was always talking about 20-something vaginas compared to 30-something vaginas - mine is also of the latter!
post #15 of 105
I've only had one vaginal birth with no tears and honestly it feels about the same as before and only looks slightly different. As someone said previously..a bit more exposed would be a good way to describe it but nothing I don't mind. I think it really depends on how traumatic the birth was on that region....and men won't be all that concerned as long as it's functional and they're getting some attention lol
post #16 of 105
My vagina and I are no longer on speaking terms.

Seriously.

We used to have a really good relationship. We used to spend quality time together. We took long walks on the beach and had some really fun times together.

*Sigh* Those were the days...

Since the natural birth of my DD three months ago and the subsequent 2nd degree tear and resulting scar tissue, my vagina has shut me out. And my husband, too.

We've tried to normalize relations, but it's been difficult. There are good days and bad days.

I haven't given up on her. We're just taking it one day at a time.

ETA: Are there spas for vaginas? I'd like to buy my vagina a spa day for Christmas.
post #17 of 105
What a timely thread! DH and I just DTD! ::

It's been 23 days since my vaginal delivery. I had a 3rd degree tear and needed the sphincter re-done. Oooh that sounds weird lol.

Anyways, I can say that it wasn't painful at all. Didn't need lube. The only thing I noticed....TMI....my labia were stinging a bit, much like rug burn or chafing. I guess they need a bit more time to heal. My perineum/tear area didn't cause any problems at all. And IMO DTD was even better than pre-pregnancy! : It's as if I was more "in tune" with things down there and had more sensation.


There's also something of a turn on when you're trying to mess around quietly while the babe is asleep lol.
post #18 of 105
I think some people need more time to heal than they expect. I didn't feel "normal" after my first baby until about 9 or 10 months post partum. And DD was a tiny 6 lb baby, no tears or episiotomy. But still it took that long period of time for me to feel like I had fully healed. I healed quicker with both of my boys, but it still took to about the 6 month mark for me to feel back to how I was prepregnancy.
post #19 of 105
Thread Starter 
OMG - Lori, if you find a spa for your vagina please let me know - I'm laughing mine off right now!
post #20 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond lil View Post
My vagina and I are no longer on speaking terms.

Seriously.

We used to have a really good relationship. We used to spend quality time together. We took long walks on the beach and had some really fun times together.

*Sigh* Those were the days...

Since the natural birth of my DD three months ago and the subsequent 2nd degree tear and resulting scar tissue, my vagina has shut me out. And my husband, too.

We've tried to normalize relations, but it's been difficult. There are good days and bad days.

I haven't given up on her. We're just taking it one day at a time.

ETA: Are there spas for vaginas? I'd like to buy my vagina a spa day for Christmas.


Oh my, this is exactly how I feel.

I had a fourth degree tear with my first and it required extensive repair, many MANY sutures, packing, at seven months post partum I was back at the midwives trying to figure out what was wrong down there.

I'm afraid she's broken for life. I've seen several specialists, including naturopaths and that route, but I have a lot of scar tissue, and things were definitely put back together 'puzzle like' as a pp described.

My poor vagina.
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