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?
Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.
Vaccines save lives.
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 4th...it'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.
jamie. crinkly (not quite crunchy) mama to 3 amazing little girls, an awesome little boy, and a baby girl making her debut at the end of this summer.
Breast Feeding, Bed Sharing, Baby Wearing, Select/Delayed Vaxing, Attached Family
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.
Mom to DD born March 2010, and someone new March 2012
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!
Wife to an amazing man , mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) , and ds3 (9/26/10) . Part time librarian, full time mommy, occasional chef and maid.
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 up...it 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.
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.
Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies: Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10
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.
Mom to (11/08) and (4/11)
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!
Also, lots of lubrication and the woman on top position was best for me.
Wife to Daryl 5/98, Mama to Eve 2/07, Lilie 11/08 and Victoria 10/10 --- Our First Water Homebirth. New blessing, Mathias, arrived 8/12 --- Our Second WaterHomebirth. Waiting to welcome baby #5 in May 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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.