Sex after 2nd Degree Tear? Positive stories welcome!! - Mothering Forums
Birth and Beyond > Sex after 2nd Degree Tear? Positive stories welcome!!
mrsbabycakes's Avatar mrsbabycakes 02:34 AM 05-08-2010
I had a totally awesome "homebirth in the hospital" two weeks ago. My 9lb7oz baby got stuck on the way out and I had to push like the dickens to get his body out (after 3 unsuccessful pushes with his head already out). I knew I'd tear and it was totally worth it. Poor guy came out with respiratory distress from the prolonged cord compression as it was. My midwife said I tore exactly like a classic episiotomy. She said it was nearly perfect.

So, I tore about an inch (I think it's more but my husband is sure it's only an inch) into my perineum (2nd degree) and I also had bilateral periurethral tears (ouch!). So far, the healing has been good. A little itchy and sore, but not terrible.

I'm mostly concerned about intercourse in the long term. I realize it's likely going to be uncomfortable at first, but for how long? Does anyone have any positive stories about their sex life after 2nd degree tears? Are certain positions total no-nos? How long did you wait? Is 6 weeks enough or should I give it more time?

I'm really struggling with this uncertain future. Sex is a really important part of bonding with my husband and something I'm really afraid to lose. I need reassurance. Don't tell me I won't care/won't want it. I'm already anxious to get back to our normal life together... My midwife told me it can be months or more until things feel somewhat normal... the midwife I saw today said my wounds are healing well but not to expect things to look the same (which I'm okay with...). No one really seems willing to discuss their sex life after tearing/episiotomy.

Any encouraging words from those who have BTDT?

mambera's Avatar mambera 02:45 AM 05-08-2010
Congrats on the babe! I had a 2nd degree (up and down, labial but no periurethral tear). Recovery was pretty easy actually. We waited the requisite 6 weeks but really I could have gone much sooner. It hurt a bit but not as badly as I was expecting. Things were definitely 'roomier' though. They've tightened up a little by now (almost 1 year out) but I don't think it'll ever go back to quite the way it was. Sex is still lots of fun though - it's making time to have it that's the problem!
thefreckledmama's Avatar thefreckledmama 02:57 AM 05-08-2010
I had a 2nd degree tear with my 2nd,...we were able to resume having sex 2 weeks later (I've never gone the 6 weeks-it was pretty much as soon as I stopped bleeding).

IIRC, it was a little achy afterwards, but nothing really bothersome. Before we attempted anything, I did a little prodding around to see how tender the area was, and waited until I felt things were healed enough.

The most important thing when you do decide to have sex for the first time is that both of you have the understanding that there is the chance it could be too uncomfortable to continue, and that's ok.

I just tore along the old scar last week with my's achy, but I don't think it will be much more than a week or so before I'm feeling healed enough for sex.
expatmommy's Avatar expatmommy 06:31 AM 05-08-2010
Crashing your thread to say I didn't see your birth announcement before & big huge massive congratulations on the birth of your son!!
Emmery'sMom's Avatar Emmery'sMom 06:44 AM 05-08-2010
I guess I'll be the downer- my 2nd degree tear was a bit longer than yours, but it was 8-9 months before I could have intercourse with my DH (we tried before that, and often, but I had to stop him immediately). Even now at 16 months it's still uncomfortable after 10 minutes or so. Lube helps- A LOT of lube. And even though intercourse might be uncomfortable for a while, there are other ways to have sexy time
mrsbabycakes's Avatar mrsbabycakes 08:49 AM 05-08-2010
Expat - you've reminded me that I need to post over in PABL!! Sorry 'bout that. once I get the birth story typed out (Im hoping this weekend) I'll post it with a picture.
lizsky's Avatar lizsky 08:31 PM 05-08-2010
I've had this same question- I'm 9weeks PP and also had a 2nd degree tear along my perineum that was "just like an episiotomy" according to my MW.

I don't have much experience to offer but will be interested to hear what others post. We tried at 7 weeks PP, and it was awful. Tried again at 8weeks PP and it was not awful but still very uncomfortable. Will try again this week. I'm hoping that things will slowly improve.
etsdtm99's Avatar etsdtm99 01:17 AM 05-09-2010
i have had 2 births, both with 2nd degree episiotomies ..the recovery from the first was worse than the 2nd, possibly because the 2nd time the ob cut the scar tissue, and she claims while it was still 2nd degree it wasn't as bad as the first time.. i have recovered 100% as far as sex goes .. both times i was ready to try it again at 5 weeks pp and it was only slightly uncomfortable if the scar was stretched too far in a certain position .. by a few weeks later everything was totally fine. we had to use a lot of lube due to dryness caused by breastfeeding.. but i was pretty shocked how little it hurt and how fast things healed..
liberal_chick's Avatar liberal_chick 12:01 PM 05-09-2010
I had a 2nd degree perineal tear that went into the muscle. Mine was complicated by the fact that my MW didn't stitch it and it healed totally open, so I had surgery at 9 weeks PP to stitch everything back together.

We had sex at 6 weeks PP and it was great. No pain, dh said the tightness was about the same, etc. After surgery was a whole different story. It probably took 7 months after surgery for there to be no pain at the outset (it would always go away about 5 minutes in). Even now, when I tighten my vaginal muscles I can feel a spot that is tighter than the rest. I'm glad I got the tear repaired, but I wish that hadn't been a side effect of it!
morganlefay's Avatar morganlefay 07:36 PM 05-09-2010
I had a 2nd degree tear and we tried for the first time at about 6 or 7 weeks and it was terribly painful but it got better. It was about 6 months until I wasn't feeling discomfort.
RedOakMomma's Avatar RedOakMomma 07:17 PM 05-10-2010
I had a 3rd degree tear with my first birth...I think we had sex about 9 weeks later? Maybe a little more? It was tender at first, but not bad. We just took it slow.

I had a 2nd degree tear with my second birth. Recovery went much faster, and I think we had sex around 7 weeks post-partum. Again, it was fine. We went slow the first couple of times, then resumed a normal ( well, normal when you have kids) sex life.

Both times I found that there was some tenderness in the way I was stiched didn't come together as naturally as it had before. Occasionally I feel a little soreness (once every couple of months?), but it's nothing major.
Kelly1101's Avatar Kelly1101 12:52 AM 05-11-2010
I had a moderate tear. I wasn't ready in 6 weeks, although hormonally I wanted to, BAD. Haha.

It was about 8-9 weeks afterwards before we finally managed to do it all the way to the end. And we needed lots of artificial lubrication. Definitely buy something to use. Especially if you're breastfeeding, the hormones from nursing can keep you from making your own natural lubrication. So buy some and use it LIBERALLY. Re-apply if necessary

The main thing is to take your time and not rush it. See if you and your partner can please each other in ways that don't involve direct penetration. Make sure that he knows that even if you get started, you may have to stop if it becomes painful, and finish in another way.

Even when we were able to do it all the way to the end, it wasn't entirely comfortable for a while after that. It took longer to get started, had to really take our time with it. But by 6 months post partum it was like there had never been a problem at all, it was just as good as it ever was before.

Keep in mind that all women don't magically become good as new at 6 weeks pp. That's such an arbitrary number. You're ready when you feel ready, and if you start and it becomes painful, just stop and try again another day.
LaurenAnanas's Avatar LaurenAnanas 11:51 AM 05-11-2010
Well, things were bad for a while but there's a happy ending here!

I had bad 2nd degree tearing and didn't even try until about 5 months PP. It hurt. Really, really badly. Didn't try again until 9 months PP. Still hurt, but not quite as bad.

With hubby's help, I began a stretching regimen up on the midwife's advice. Start small, like with a finger. Lots (and lots) of lube. Using my diva cup helped too.

Now, 18 months later, our intimate life is better than it ever was. Seriously. The challenges connected us in a new way, and, well, things somehow shifted down there so I'm more sensitive in a very, VERY good way.
Mandala126's Avatar Mandala126 05:16 PM 05-11-2010
Originally Posted by mambera View Post
Congrats on the babe! I had a 2nd degree (up and down, labial but no periurethral tear). Recovery was pretty easy actually. We waited the requisite 6 weeks but really I could have gone much sooner. It hurt a bit but not as badly as I was expecting. Things were definitely 'roomier' though. They've tightened up a little by now (almost 1 year out) but I don't think it'll ever go back to quite the way it was. Sex is still lots of fun though - it's making time to have it that's the problem!
That's me too!! 2nd degree with DD1, none with DD2 though
Also, lots of lubrication and the woman on top position was best for me.
AFWife's Avatar AFWife 05:27 PM 05-11-2010
I had a single, inch long, second degree tear. I was nervous about trying sex and didn't feel comfortable until almost 3 months later.

Lots of lube, finding a good position, and patience are the key. It's a year later and I don't have any issues as far as the tear is concerned.
Romana's Avatar Romana 08:55 PM 05-12-2010
I've had two second degree tears. First time I got stitches, second time I did not. The first time it healed faster - I think I'd go for stitches again if I have another tear.

Sex is awesome. No problems at all, no "looser" or anything like that. I think sex is improved from how it was pre-babies, at least in terms of my vaginal comfort, if you like. I/we do wait a really long time, for complete healing, before sex, though. We've tried at 3 months post-partum but find that waiting six months is better. Most people don't wait that long, but it works out better for us that way.
SaoirseC's Avatar SaoirseC 03:46 AM 05-15-2010
Sex is still fun after a tear- birth (tear or no tear) changes the shape a little, but you find new ways to enjoy sex (which is not to say at all that sex is less fun)- new positions that you enjoy now which you may not have enjoyed as much before. For whatever reason, I LOVED missionary before, and now I'm just not such a fan, but love backwards cowgirl (sorry if TMI), just because things changed shape and the fit is different.

Take it slow, and feel free to do whatever you need to in order to be relaxed until you get back into the swing of things (my hospital-based midwife actually recommended "having a glass of wine" before sex each time). But sex will still be fun, and will get better and better as time goes on.

BTW, I had a minimal 2nd degree tear after DC1 and skidmarks after DC2. Not such a fan of sex during the first year PP due to hormones (dryness, lack of desire) or pregnancy, so your mileage may vary.
mrsbabycakes's Avatar mrsbabycakes 07:03 AM 05-25-2010

Thank you so much for your encouraging stories!! It's nice to have a positive, but realistic expectations. I'm 4 1/2 weeks PP now and I'm going to wait at least the full 6 weeks. My stitches aren't dissolved yet, so I'm going to wait until the midwife clears me.

Thanks again for sharing.