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Vaginal Opening Stretched after birth

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My vaginal opening stretched after birth of my 3rd child who was 9 lbs. It's been 4 months and I've been doing my kegels, but the opening to my vagina is still stretched and opened. Is there anything to do besides surgery, which I will not do?
post #2 of 21
You're talking about just the opening? What about the musculature inside your vagina? Do you feel the kegels are helping?

Did you tear? Was it repaired? Typically, you don't just see a widening of the vaginal opening spontaneously after previous births without a tear that wasn't repaired. Does your partner complain of the difference?

I ask about your partner's experience because the musculature of the vagina matters more to most male partners than the introitus alone.
post #3 of 21
Mine is still larger 5 years out. Dh noticed but says it isnt that bad nor does he care.
post #4 of 21
Having the skin around the vaginal opening stretched (damaged and/or torn) is very different from having the internal muscular structure changed. Are you positive that the damage extends into the vagina?

If it's just on the outside (vulva) then it's superficial and should not affect sex except upon penetration. It should also lesson to some degree after a while.

If the inside of your vaginal canal is damaged (ie. the muscle structure) then you need to ensure your tears were properly healed and stitched. If that's the case, then I suggest working hard on your kegals. Most women do not do kegals properly. You should be starting small and working up to hundreds of reps a day. You need to also be squeezing and most importantly - holding - for several seconds (working slowly up to a ten second hold) before a complete release during your reps.
There's actually a device you can buy that you use internally that will measure the strength of your kegal squeezes and help you not only learn how to do them properly, but watch as your strength increases over time. I know one was available on mypleasure.com (sex toy site, but it's actually SFW - very classy and mature).

The normal, uncomplicated birth of a baby, even a large baby should not damage your vagina, particularly make it "floppy" or "loose". Remember that the only difference between a 6lb baby and a 9lb baby is just fat... and fat squishes! The head is STILL the big, solid part; and that part doesn't change by more than a centimeter of so (on average) in a full term birth regardless of weight. It won't make your vagina any "bigger" to birth a 9lb head vs a 7lb one - this is a total myth!
Tears into the muscle can cause damage that may feel like that, but if properly repaired and recovery taken seriously you can regain normal tone.

Sincerely,
Teeny tiny mom who vaginally birthed a nearly-10-pound-baby.
post #5 of 21
This thread is so interesting! I had a horribly painful third degree tear with the birth of my first baby. Definitely the muscles inside my vagina were torn. I could see stitches extending into my vagina and, then on the outside, all the way down to my anus. (SORRY TMI!!!!!)

I am definitely wider and roomier. Like crazy so. Dh doesn't seem to mind, he notices a difference but doesn't care. It makes a HUGE difference to MY experience of pleasure though, particularly at the vaginal opening. I feel really sad that what used to be very pleasurable is now just ...grey.

I was very surprised to hear recently that a woman I knew who birthed twins and a singleton said she always had a very small vagina. I was like !?!?!?!? even after birthing all three of those babies? She said yes, that she had not torn. That was the first time I realized that some women are lucky enough to have their vagina and vaginal opening go back to a small size, and some are not.

For the record I do tons of kegels all the time. It has helped some. But it definitely does NOT feel like before.
post #6 of 21
I saw a holistic women's health physical therapist when my daughter was a year and a half or so because I felt like things weren't quite normal down there, even though I was doing Kegel's too. (And she was small, 6 1/2 pounds, and I didn't tear, for what it's worth) She told me that Kegel's alone would not help the muscles there if they were out of place. Kind of like if you're trying to exercise any muscle that's shortened/injured. That you would just be continuing to exercise the muscles with shortened fibers, they still weren't fully doing their job. So she worked on the muscles down there, much like a therapist might work on other muscles in your body (for example, working out "knots" in the trapezius, etc.) with massage and assessed the strength and where they needed work. Is this making sense? This is a little harder to type out than I thought. I saw her three times with success. She also taught me to do mayan abdominal massage to myself to help too.
post #7 of 21
hormone changes may make a difference in how thin or puffed the labia can be as well as the vaginal tissue itself. So I will disagree a bit here with others because I think that engorgement outside of the muscle can really make a difference in pleasure/stimulation for women. Things to look into , thyroid levels OR it may simply be low estrogen and you could try estrogen cream. The decreased estrogen levels in some breastfeeding moms is enough to cause decreased elasticity, tissue thinning (like shrinking of the labia), and reduced vaginal blood flow there is usually increased dryness too. so this may be what you are seeing as looseness - I don't know I would say go see someone who is can do the lab work for you or write out an RX ...

take care
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sal42 View Post
She told me that Kegel's alone would not help the muscles there if they were out of place. Kind of like if you're trying to exercise any muscle that's shortened/injured. That you would just be continuing to exercise the muscles with shortened fibers, they still weren't fully doing their job.
interesting. i've wondered if i'm all out of place (everywhere, not just there!) because when i do kegels i can definitely feel a lot more action on the left side than the right side, even when i try to focus on just the right side...it feels very asymmetrical. but it feels to me that my vagina is not straight up & down and leans to one side too...wonder what that might mean.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Wow, lots of info! I did tear with all 3 of my children. Several stitches the first time, 2 stitches the second time and none my 3rd (midwife said I tore slightly but didn't need stitches ~ didn't feel any tears during postpardum healing). I noticed my vagina opening loose after my second was born. My dh says things are a bit looser inside as well. I've been doing kegels and even have a kegelmaster that I started a few days ago. I wonder if I do my kegels for several months if the interior and exterior tighten? I will ask see my Physical Therapist at the end of the month. I'm going to her for Diastisis, and never realized I could ask her.

Please keep the info coming! I'm sure this is a common concern.
post #10 of 21
post #11 of 21
Just mentioned this to my MW. She is going to refer me to a gynecologist to see what can be done. In the meantime she has given me info about two kinds of devices on the market intended to strengthen the pelvic floor, because kegels only do so much.

One is called Lady System -- vaginal cones for pelvic floor reeducation. These are little weights. http://www.ladysystem.ca

This one was designed for women who are concerned about tearing during birth, it's called Epi-No. After delivery it's meant to help recover the strength of your pelvic floor, tone over-stretched, weak and possibly injured muscles. http://www.pelvicfloorwellness.com

I haven't started looking in-depth, just thought I'd share.
post #12 of 21
I think that it's pretty typical (?) to have some "vaginal gape" after your birth. I certainly did after my 8 lb 7 oz girl. I also had some prolapse that resolved w/ physical therapy. I noticed the gape because ... well, I could feel the breeze blowing down there! Yikes! Anyway, at some point it *did* get better - maybe around 8-9 months postpartum I stopped noticing it all the time. Now, at 18 months pp, I do not notice it at all (and I just resumed my menstrual cycles) but if I take a mirror and look, it still seems like my labia don't close/cover things as much as they did before the birth. I'd say just sit tight and keep doing the kegels. Check your technique and consider a couple sessions w/ a PT who specalizes in pelvic floor dysfunction if it's annoying to you.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertpenguin View Post
interesting. i've wondered if i'm all out of place (everywhere, not just there!) because when i do kegels i can definitely feel a lot more action on the left side than the right side, even when i try to focus on just the right side...it feels very asymmetrical. but it feels to me that my vagina is not straight up & down and leans to one side too...wonder what that might mean.
You could check into atrophy of one side.

A trick for getting those muscles to actually work during a kegel is to touch it before you do it, to let the muscles know to work. It's something my PT did during therapy.

Liz
post #14 of 21
I just ran across this link: http://kegelcompare.com/postpartum.html

Looks very interesting.
I tore (1st degree- only skin), was stitched, but the stitches popped at 1 week pp. I believe my bladder and rectum have fallen a bit as well. I will be visiting the ob/gyn for my annual check-up next month and plan on discussing options with him.

For me, my muscle tone "feels" normal with intercourse. My bladder control is sketchy though. And when I bathe, my vaginal canal fills with water. Oh, and my skin makes a clicking noise when I walk. I'm 13 months PP, been doing kegels, and haven't seen any improvement. So, next step for me is biofeedback weights, I believe.

I absolutely will consider surgery if that doesn't help some... I don't want the vajay-jay of a teenager, I just want to be able to swim in the public pool without water draining out
post #15 of 21
Hi. I recently had my. Baby she was 9.2 lbs and left me completely destroyed down there.
I feel so sad and depressed because im never going to feel the same again. Im only 24 years old and besides the damages she made I have a prolapse. Ive tried to look for women whove had my same problem, for advise or alternatives. I am screaming for help.
post #16 of 21
I had three full term pregnancies, natural childbirths with each and felt fine after. No tearing,, no stitches and no feeling "too loose". I did feel bruised inside for a couple of weeks but after that, I felt fine. Dh doesn't seem to notice any difference either.
post #17 of 21

Marcela, I'm sorry you have experienced this.  Welcome to the Mothering message boards.  I think you should start your thread as a new one so that you will get more responses specifically for your issue.  hug2.gif

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcela0710 View Post

Hi. I recently had my. Baby she was 9.2 lbs and left me completely destroyed down there.
I feel so sad and depressed because im never going to feel the same again. Im only 24 years old and besides the damages she made I have a prolapse. Ive tried to look for women whove had my same problem, for advise or alternatives. I am screaming for help.

 

I'm so sorry Marcela (((hugs))).

 

Over time as a birth and postpartum doula I have learned some things about strengthening the pelvic floor. We are always told to kegel but new information in recent years consistently tells us that overall strengthening of the abdominal support system and the butt plays a huge role in supporting the pelvic floor. See this article:

http://breakingmuscle.com/womens-fitness/stop-doing-kegels-real-pelvic-floor-advice-women-and-men

 

Incidentally, I posted in this thread in 2009 after one baby but I have had two more babies since then. My second and third births were much faster and much easier, and I was able to push physiologically in different positions. My vaginal has actually INCREASED in tone since the birth of my first baby. I didn't know that was possible but it is!

 

Kim Vopni is a Canadian pelvic floor exercise expert and she recommends women with prolapse see a physiotherapist who specializes in this area. The physio can help a woman get things back into shape - for many women this means improving prolapse without surgery.

 

I'm sorry for your pain and suffering. Keep searching for answers and working to strengthen your pelvic floor overall -- there's a "new" thing called pfilates which is helpful.

post #19 of 21
post #20 of 21

I am having the same issue and my sig other kinda feels it to and although he saids that it isn't a big deal I feel it is and it definitely is a major esteem breaker. I hate to have intercourse because I feel insecure and what sucks is that our sex life was GREAT!!!!  no issues ever!!! I don't know what to do. Kegels and I don't get along. Ive tried and can do them. Any suggestions???

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