Will my vagina go back to normal after childbirth?
Welcome to our latest edition of Boogle Blog where we’re talkin’ vaginas, and how they’re affected after childbirth.
There’s no denying it, our lady parts definitely cop a beating when it comes to making little people. They’re poked and prodded, pushed and stretched, and if you’re a first time mum experiencing a vaginal birth, you’ll have a 9 out of 10 chance of vaginal tearing. Yep, your skin rips to make room for your baby’s head! (Ouch, it hurts just writing that).
So how does our vjj recover, and will she ever be the same again?
To help put your mind (and vagina) at ease, we’ve put a list together of things to expect when you're expecting.
1. Bleeding after birth
After delivering your bub (either vaginally or by C-section), you’ll experience what's called postpartum bleeding, which can last for up to 6 weeks. This is our body's way of shedding the extra tissue and blood from the uterus, bringing it back to pre baby carrying days. Our advice? Stock up on some comfortable disposable pants and maternity pads! You’re welcome.
2. Vaginal tearing
There’s no easy way to say it, but if you’re birthing your baby through your lady flower, it isn’t a question of whether it will hurt, but how much. According to a study, more than 53% of births cause tearing around the vaginal opening, so expect to be a little sore for 4-12 weeks.
3. You’ll bruise in places you can’t see
After childbirth you may wonder why you’re so sore inside your vagina walls. This is because as your baby passes through, your muscles and skin actually bruise. And while there isn’t really anything you can do to avoid it, it’s good to know that that’s all it is. And it’s totally normal!
4. Things will feel looser
If you can push out a baby and your vagina doesn’t change shape, you could be in the Guinness book of World Records because honestly, that just doesn’t happen! Our vaginas stretch and take a little while to return to their new normal shape. So if you’re using a tampon and it doesn’t stay put as easily as it used to, welcome to a new, wider honey-pot. Thank you mother nature!
5. Sex will have to wait
Whilst it’s probably not top of mind after pushing out a human recently, but doctors usually advise to wait around 6 weeks after childbirth before having sex, to give the vagina time to heal. So if your partner is pestering you for some sexy time, tell them to read this!
6. The desert vagina
Breastfeeding can cause estrogen deficiency, which in turn causes vaginal dryness. And while this will only last as long as you’re nursing, you can introduce a water-based lubricant into your sex life to help, along with topical estrogen cream that you can get from your doctor.
7. New look, who dis?
Pregnancy causes estrogen and progesterone to rise, which in turn causes an increased blood flow that can cause the labia to darken and even change shape. Sometimes it retracts, sometimes it appears larger and sometimes it hangs out when it never used to. And while there are some cases where the colour and shape can return to ‘normal’, most women say that their new labia is here to stay. And they’ve learnt to rock it.
8. The Ohhhh in orgasmn might be a little more, ‘uh’.
A weakened pelvic floor can unfortunately cause weaker orgasms. But before you go panicking, this is only temporary! As soon as you start working on those kegels, those muscles will regain their strength and you can regain your big O!
So while there aren't a huge amount of pluses, just remember that everything is temporary. And when you look at your new bubba, you’ll hopefully see that it’s all worth it in the end.
Finding yourself Googling everything from boobs and bums to bubs and bibs? Visit our New Beginnings website, where you’ll find a range of helpful articles, products and tips for navigating this new chapter of your life - mummahood.