During childbirth, our great device suffers a lot of pressure, and we do not know if this will leave us sequelae for the future.
One of the biggest concerns that new mothers have is after a natural birth, the vagina will remain the same as before. What will be the result? Will it be less sensitive or larger? Will it lose elasticity?
CONSEQUENCES OF CHILDBIRTH ON THE VAGINA AND GENITALS
Immediately after giving birth, your vagina and genitals will be distended, sore and probably with a few bruises, it is obvious, because after a baby has passed through there you cannot expect it to be the same again. With the passage of time the vagina will recover little by little and return to its original shape, it takes time and we have to be patient because it will recover its tonicity. However, it will not be exactly the same as it was before.
The changes will also depend on how aggressive the delivery was. For example, in many cases an episiotomy is performed , a surgical cut in the perineum to enlarge the vagina and facilitate delivery, thus avoiding tears in the perineum. In the data collected by the National Health System in 2012, the rate of episiotomies in women exceeded 40%, when the WHO recommends that this practice should not exceed 20%. In these cases the recovery is slower , after the suture the woman will have discomfort that will not disappear until several weeks have passed. There are times when the area can become infected, it is most likely during the first 20 days. However, if the recovery period is respected, problems do not have to appear.
The genitals and vagina will be sensitized for a long time, even after the postpartum recovery phase. In this sense, the couple has to be patient and resume relationships little by little, using lubricants.
During the lactation period the mother may notice that the area is less lubricated . It is not so much due to the effects of childbirth but rather to the effects of hormones in the woman’s body. If you are also breastfeeding, the problem of dryness may be greater because breastfeeding keeps estrogen levels low. Fortunately, this problem can be solved with lubricants that are water-based. It is best to avoid those made with oil bases because if you are using the condom for contraception it can weaken the latex and could break.
Other new problems
One of them quite common is urinary incontinence during the first half year after giving birth. He thinks that the muscles of the pelvis have suffered damage and that it will take a while to recover. It can also change the color of the vagina and genitals in the first weeks, but over time they return to their original color.
Another issue that worries first-time mothers is that after childbirth the woman’s discharge has a reddish appearance, as if she were having menstruation. This liquid is called lochia. The reason is simple, they are remains of the tissue with which the uterus was covered, you will be bleeding profusely for a few days, although little by little it will decrease as you recover. After a week you will only have a pinkish discharge, not as thick as the previous one. When about a fortnight has passed, you will only have whitish discharge (although more abundantly than usual) and it will stay that way for a few more weeks.
THE IMPORTANCE OF RESPECTING THE PUERPERIUM
The puerperium (or quarantine ) is a period of 6-8 weeks where the woman rests and refrains from having penetrative sex in order for her reproductive system to recover. During this time, the vagina and uterus return to their original size, the lochia have to stop, the wounds heal if they exist, etc. The recovery time will depend on how the delivery was, however an average of forty days is usually left, known as “quarantine”. They should never be started if the woman is still bleeding.
CARE TO IMPROVE THE CONDITION OF THE VAGINA AFTER CHILDBIRTH
-Rose hip oil: In the case of having undergone an episiotomy you must wait for the wound to heal, once it is closed it is recommended that you massage the area with rosehip oil, at least once a day for a few minutes . The oil will soften the area, speed healing, and decrease pain.
– Kegel exercises: On the other hand, in order for the vagina to regain its tonicity, it is highly recommended to practice Kegel exercises for 2 or 3 months after delivery. Thanks to them, women strengthen the pelvis, bladder and intestines. With them, not only will your vagina be tighter, but you also improve sexual function.
– Hypopressive exercises : these exercises have many benefits for women such as improving respiratory capacity, preventing hernias, reducing back pain, reducing the waist … And of course it strengthens the urinary system and reduces the loss of internal organs such as heaviness vaginal. Women who have had a cesarean delivery are better off avoiding this type of exercise until the scar has healed.
– Chinese balls: they are special small spheres that are inserted into the vagina and that serve to strengthen it. When wearing them, the pelvic muscles contract as the woman walks. With the shock of the balls when walking the vagina makes an effort to hold them and the area is strengthened. In addition, like Kegel and hypopressive exercises, it improves sexual function.
– Surgery. If after practicing all these recommendations you notice that your vagina has changed too much and that it does not recover its shape, you can resort to surgery, it can be a solution if it has really become a disorder for women. Surgery can improve a woman’s sexual life in cases where the structure has been seriously damaged and a lot of sensitivity has been lost, for example, when there have been significant tears or reconstructing the area that was damaged by the episiotomy.
Dr. Tabriella Perivolaris, Sara's mother and fan of fashion, beauty, motherhood, among others, about the female universe. Since 2018 she has been working as a copywriter, always bringing to her articles a little of her experience and experience as a mother and woman.