Vaginal pain two years after childbirth

(9 Posts)
CazzaTh Fri 05-Apr-13 22:22:04

Hello I have musty stumbled upon this as I have the same problem as you Sweetpo, I have had 3 operations and am not getting very much help at all from the NHS, I notice this is very old have you got anywhere with this? I really hope so, and if so, is there any advice you can give me? Many thanks x

Sweetpo Mon 13-Apr-09 19:38:10

Hi there. My son is now 3 1/2 years old. Like you, I had a bad 2nd degree tear and infection. I had 2 fentons operations and refashioning of the vagina but also caught infections after those. The last operation was 2 years ago. As a result of all this, I then developped dispareunia (the muscles in the vagina contract and intercourse is impossible), severe depression, and eventually lost my job. I am surprised my husband is still by my side! The dispareunia has been resolved with the use of dilators but I am still experiencing pain and discomfort around the forchette and perineum area. My GP has re-referred me because they couldn't do a smear test and I saw the consultant again last week: usual story, I can't see anything wrong, it's all in your head. Nevertheless, he still wants to operate a third time. Well, I am a bit wiser now and I am asking for another opinion and I am fighting back. There seems to be a terrible lack of knowledge within the NHS when it comes to conditions such as these and after years of silence, I am determined to make my voice heard. The operations have led to a slight improvement: For example, I can lift my leg without feeling pain and ride a bike but I still feel discomfort when wearing trousers, sitting and obviously, intercourse is extremely difficult. So fentons is not a miracle cure but I am still waiting to hear if there is anything else that can be done. I think each case is individual, the fact that Fenton's hasn't really worked for me doesn't mean it won't work for you. I think the hardest thing of all is that doctors don't take it seriously and this leads patients to feel inadequate, guilty, depressed, angry, paranoid. The most helpful thing of all is to know that I am not alone and it is giving me the courage to speak out.

Lotster Tue 28-Oct-08 13:17:01

Hello hon, sorry I didn't see your message until now.

I think in deciding if you want a Fenton's, first you need to have a GP you can trust to advise on whether it is something you need. I looked online at my surgery and luckily found a doc who specialised in Psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology, as well as minor surgery etc. She couldn't have been more ideally suited really. But if you can't find someone like that then a sympathetic ear and taking you seriously is a good start.

Then you decide if your current state is one you can't bear. It's an op under general, you have to take it easy for a few weeks and it is sore, but you have painkillers and do your physio and you could be feeling close to normal before you know it - we're talking weeks or months compared to the two whole years you've out up with so far.

There are different things you can do before resorting to Fenton's, but sadly, no one takes the time to explain:

There are dilators you can try for stretching out the scar tissue, which you are more in control of than when having sex. (when you have a Fenton's they don't really "remove" the scar tissue, they divide it) so might be a way to help.

Scar tissue can be tackled at any time, it's never to late to have a go yourself. I would use an oil rich in Vitamin E like Wheatgerm, and firm rubbing with your fingers daily to de-sensitise the area and help stretch it out too. If it's too sore at first then you can get a gel to numb the area, see that thread - I forget it's name now!

There are also cortisone injections which dissolve scar tissue to an extent. A maximum of three is recommended as after that they can thin the skin as it is steroids.

It was after having two these I went for the Fentons op as my GP decided the hospital weren't doing enough. She really was the key to everything changing so seek out a doc to be on your side, and who knows what they are dealing with / can examine and speak to the hospital with some authority etc.

Keep me posted or ask anything else you need.
x

Miggins Fri 24-Oct-08 20:46:28

Lobster, thanks so much for that link. It's really comforting to know that I'm not alone. I'm undecided whether or not to go back to the GP as the last time I saw an NHS consultant he told me that two years after the birth it had healed as much as it was ever going to and was not going to get any better unless I was opened up again. It's interesting to note, from the other posts, how dismissive the NHS seem to be about this issue.
Now I'm just very undecided which way to go. Is it worth the risk to be opened up again when it may actually make matters worse. I just don't know.

Lotster Thu 23-Oct-08 14:03:39

p.s. have had 2 x Fenton's but why not read through first.

Lotster Thu 23-Oct-08 14:02:25

Hi there, come and join our thread:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/childbirth/615343-who-took-ages-to-recover-from-childbirth-help-and-advice

Or look a few below yours on the childbirth topic.

Have a read through our experiences and ask us any questions, lots of answers between us!

xx

MrsTittleMouse Thu 23-Oct-08 13:13:31

I've had this, and there are an awful lot of us on MN (). So you're not alone. I've also had problems in being taken seriously, as there isn't an "obvious" problem. I was told that it was a psychological aversion to sex more that once and that's not an uncommon problem. angry I've now had another baby, so I'm waiting to see if that has helped or hindered my recovery, but I have an appointment with consultant soon.

I haven't had experience with surgery, but there are several MNetters who have, so hopefully this will bump for the day crowd and someone will be on here soon who's had a Fenton's.

smartiejake Wed 22-Oct-08 22:03:04

Not me but a friend had a problem like this. She went for the surgery in the end and was very pleased with the result.

Miggins Wed 22-Oct-08 21:07:53

Two years ago I suffered extensive second degree tearing at the birth of my DC followed by a number of infections of the wound. I continue to have pain during sex, and using tampons,as a result of this. I have seen two consultants who advise me that superficially there appears to be nothing wrong and say that they would have to re-open the wounds to carry out further investigations in order to determine the cause of the problem.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has had similar problems or had repair work, re-opening of wounds etc etc.

Sorry, rather personal subject but hopefully I'll find I'm not alone with this problem. blush

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