Did your vagina go back to normal after caesarian/vaginal birth?

(53 Posts)
yellowbuttercup Tue 14-Jan-14 08:23:11

I know you can tear during VB which can cause terrible problems. But I have seen some threads where even women who had relatively straightforward births with no tears said that their bits were ‘not quite the same’ afterwards. Also I have heard of doctors saying, ‘you’ve had a baby, you can’t expect your sex life to go back to how it was’ and ‘it’s normal for all women to have a mild prolapse after VB’. I am wondering what is reasonable to expect. OK I realise there must be stretching and pain initially, but if you do your pelvic floor exercises and give it some time is it possible to eventually have your normal vagina back? And if not, in what way is it ‘not the same’? What about if you had a CS instead of VB? I have heard people saying that it is pregnancy rather than birth that causes the problems down below so there is no advantage to having a caesarian, but I am not sure if this is true or not! I know there are other reasons to choose between VB and CS but at the moment I am just considering the lasting physical damage that I am likely to have down below and the possibility of returning to normal after either of them.

Sex fine but definitely not quite the same down there.

Sex is fine but I cant use a trampoline grin

24h labour resulting in a cut and forceps.

Episiotomy with DD1 and a tiny tear, no stitches with DD2.

I have slightly more grief with tampons slipping down and rubbing, no trouble at all with sex.

LESuffolk Tue 14-Jan-14 08:36:16

LSCS and everything is pristine.

However I did and still do my pelvic floor exercises every day. I find it really worrying that so many women appear to accept urinary incontinence as an inevitable consequence of pregnancy and childbirth. I could trampoline and sneeze on a full bladder and yes I know that sounds boastful but I don't mean it that way.

It is also a matter of concern that so many VB's end in tears. There seems to be a deterioration in these basic MW skills- breastfeeding and delivery without tearing.

Please women of MN, do your exercises.

MrsBucketxx Tue 14-Jan-14 08:37:17

Forceps both times ventous, and then emcs for ds and I can say yhat its not the same but not far off. I can feel the scarring. But thats it.

I made the stupid decision to look straight afyer and I thought it would never be good again.

Please dont worry it will be fine.

Lagoonablue Tue 14-Jan-14 08:40:18

2 VBs. 1 episiotomy, second time a tear. Doesn't look the same at all. Quite a bit of thick scarring, mild prolapse and no can't use a trampoline!

However have got 2 lovely kids, can still have sex and who cares what it looks like?

Lagoonablue Tue 14-Jan-14 08:40:59

Btw I did do my kegels.

TheXxed Tue 14-Jan-14 08:43:21

Congratulations on your pristine vagina LEsuffolk hmm.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 14-Jan-14 08:44:30

Totally back to normal after two births.

No tears or stitches, I did perineal massage during both pregnancies and I exercise a lot, including yoga. Really can't see or feel any difference, I still feel in control of my pelvic floor.

Hemlock2013 Tue 14-Jan-14 08:53:56

There was another thread similar to this yesterday where a lovely lady Gussie who is a pelvic floor physio therapist was saying that no one should suffer urinary incontinance after child birth and the fact that British women seem
To accept this as a given was completely wrong. So lessuffolk does raise an important point that we should all be on trampolines!!!

LESuffolk Tue 14-Jan-14 09:19:21

It wasn't meant to be snarky and i have no idea why you should take it that way XX.

I have read a lot of what Gussie says (she is amazing) and Pelvic Floor exercises will protect you.

Should this not be said to benefit pregnant women in case it offends women who do have urinary incontinence?

It is really important and women who do have to endure this need to go to their doctors and ask for help in addressing it rather then suffer in silence.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Tue 14-Jan-14 10:48:52

after section yes, it was a blessed bonus that all down there is virtually same as before thank the lord...after vag birth NO, back to back things strected etc...however mum and baby yoga that specifically targeted that area really helped.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Tue 14-Jan-14 10:50:18

no one should suffer urinary incontinance after child birth and the fact that British women seem

I dont think we do accept it, its just that no one talks about these side effects of birth and labour and there is no clear and open follow up help, its not an easy subject t talk to doc about...its hidden i never knew it was such an issue until on here...

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Tue 14-Jan-14 10:51:30

Of course having a section will help!

Yes pregnancy in itself does not help but stopping a large baby passing out of you also helps, a great deal smile

Lagoonablue Tue 14-Jan-14 10:52:25

Changes to your vagina after birth are normal. Perhaps we shouldn't accept a level of incontinence but we can't all demand prolapse surgery on the NHS. It is a serious and painful OP with a long recovery time.

I just think we have to be a bit realistic and accept our bodies change after babies. Not saying we have to be in pain or suffer but a bit of stretching etc is no biggie.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Tue 14-Jan-14 10:55:00

bit of stretching and being left incontinent are two different things, and its no one elses business who asks for what on the NHS>

Bue Tue 14-Jan-14 10:55:18

LEsuffolk the majority of vaginal births - especially first births - have always resulted in a tear of some degree, and although there are different schools of thought on this most of the research shows that bad tears are not preventable by the midwife. I don't think there's been any sort of de-skilling in this area.

Lagoonablue Tue 14-Jan-14 10:57:26

I was making the point that the solution to this issue is usually a big operation which in itself is a bit of an issue.

You have totally misread the tone of my post. Of course if people have pAin or serious problems they should see a doctor.


Fairylea Tue 14-Jan-14 10:57:42

It can actually be the intense weight gain during pregnancy rather than birth itself that can cause issues... This is why it's really common to have piles and varicose veins in the vagina during pregnancy. Sometimes these problems persist even after birth regardless of whether you have a vaginal or section birth.

I had a ventouse delivery with dd in 2003 and my vagina definitely didn't feel as sensitive to touch as it did previously at least for about a year or so afterwards. I also had some painful scar tissue. Gradually though it did return to normal...or a new version of normal.

With ds in 2012 I had an elective section and obviously my vagina was fine but I put on a lot of weight during the pregnancy due to various problems and I had more trouble with piles for which I am still suffering now. I have treatment, they just go away and come back!

One of the reasons I chose to have a section with ds amongst other birth trauma reasons is that I didn't want anything else done to my vagina. I felt it had been through the wars !

Bowlersarm Tue 14-Jan-14 11:01:14

Sex is fine, trampolining not, and sneezing is a bit hit and miss!

I gave birth vaginally to three hulking DSes, and tore slightly with all three. It is bound to be a little different afterwards.

stickysausages Tue 14-Jan-14 11:01:57

10lb baby, whooshed out, no tears & back to normal after. No complaints from DH either, so must feel the same to him too blush

SherlustHolmes Tue 14-Jan-14 11:04:49

I've had both LSCS and VBs. Things look no different down there, but they feel much better. DH reports that it feels better for him and to top that last night I orgasmed during penetrative sex for the first time in my life! grin

I don't think childbirth has to have a negative effect on your sex life. Children, on the other hand ...

LESuffolk Tue 14-Jan-14 11:06:41

There is a big gap between asking for help to address incontinence and ending up with reconstructive surgery.

Don't be put off asking for help because you think that is your only option. There are plenty more and a good Physio will work wonders. As will weight control (mentioned by Fairy) and doing your pelvic floor exercises before, during and after pregnancy.

If we all educated our children (men too) on this and if more gyms emphasised their importance, there'd be a lot less urinary incontinence, better sexual pleasure and less problems post menopause.

2 sections here and all fine. V pregnant with dc3 now and I do find myself clenching to sneeze and this seems to work! Probably attempting vbac again this time but not sure after threads like this!

BabsAndTheRu Tue 14-Jan-14 11:16:34

I'm with LESuffolk on this. Can't stress enough the importance of pelvic floor exercises through pregnancy and beyond. Aids the healing process as well if you have stitches. I have had three vaginal births the second was forceps and episiotomy. Everything is back to normal, can't even feel a scar.

MissCardew Tue 14-Jan-14 11:20:52

VB a few years ago, had an episiotomy and internal tear. No issues with pelvic floor or incontinence but the scar tissue meant sex and tampon use was very painful. I struggled along for about 18 months thinking this was now 'normal' but on the advice of a friend I went to the GP who referred me over to a gynae. One minor surgical procedure later and all is very much back to how it was before. I'm so pleased I was advised to seek help smile

Proudmummytodc2 Tue 14-Jan-14 11:23:52

2 Vb here

One was with 9lb 5ounce baby had episiotomy but went back to normal

2nd 8lb 11ounce although tiny baby for weight it's still a vb and went back to normal again

But I did do my pelvic floors ect all through my pregnancies and after also extra exercise as had physio therapist for SPF which weakens your muscles I can go on trampolines sneeze with clenching ect no boasting btw just my experience I would do your exercises and it will be fine xx

yellowbuttercup Tue 14-Jan-14 13:14:23

Uff, first time hearing about varicose veins in the vagina! God, something new to worry about! All this does terrify me a bit. But I'm guessing it can't have been that bad, otherwise you all wouldn't have gone on to have your second and thirds.

It's definitely something that isn't discussed. I have learned more on mumsnet than I have in real life about all this.

I really don't care what it looks like afterwards but I am worried about pain, loss of sensation during sex, incontinence etc. But it sounds like yoga, pelvic floor exercises, and no running are the way to go - seems to have worked for some. Fingers crossed.

kalidasa Tue 14-Jan-14 13:37:34

DS is 13 months - normal and straightforward birth but two second degree tears (he was in the 'superman' position with his arm extended forward past his head and apparently that is pretty much a guaranteed tear). They healed well. It does feel a little bit bigger and DH says it feels slightly different, but overall we are actually pleased - I was really a bit too small/tight before and sex is actually better and easier now. So I think it's realistic to expect some minor alteration but it's not necessarily a bad thing.

TheRealCarrieBradshaw Tue 14-Jan-14 14:11:35

Sorry, what's Sex ? wink

FruitbatAuntie Tue 14-Jan-14 14:12:37

2 c-sections here, and all seems exactly as it was beforehand. I did (and do) my pelvic floor exercises regularly though.

First time I had sex after each section, things did feel somewhat 'different' down there. I felt tighter if anything (not good, I was too small before anyway which made sex sore sometimes) , and like everything had moved around a bit? I suspect this was due to the hormones when BF and also suddenly not having the weight of a huge baby there? Got back to normal pretty quickly with the aid of lubricant.

fanjobiscuits Tue 14-Jan-14 14:14:08

EMCS, fanjo good as new. Stomach not.

Is it just me who's sitting doing my pelvic floor exercises whilst reading? <grin>
I'm not sure, I'd only had sex a few times before I got pregnant (was v young). I now have 5 dc, all straightforward VB's and I think I'm in pretty good nick down there! I only tore with my second and it just needed a couple of stitches.
I can do jumping jacks fine although trampolining is only ok if I pop to the loo beforehand! Sneezing is fine too.

betty10k Tue 14-Jan-14 15:40:39

Yes this thread has made me do my pelvic floor exercises. I had a VB, slight tear but no stitches. All totally back to normal within a month or so if i remember rightly, but it's just luck of the draw i guess!

lilyaldrin Tue 14-Jan-14 15:51:49

DS1 - had him aged 26, didn't bother with pelvic floor exercises, no varicose veins or piles, 8lb 6oz vaginal birth with episiotomy and forceps delivery. Stitches healed within a week or so I think, it felt different down there for about 6 months (eg. sometimes when doing aerobics it felt a bit odd) but after that entirely back to normal - no incontinence at all, sex all normal etc.

DS2 - 34 weeks pregnant now, aged 30, still not doing pelvic floor blush but I do have to brace myself when I sneeze now! Will have to wait and see how I fare after the birth...

TimeIsAnIllusion Tue 14-Jan-14 16:15:30

I had 4DC first was forceps, second came out "superman style", 3rd "normal" (water birth) and last c section (all babies were back to back - I must have an odd pelvis).
I'm very surprised I've been fortunate not to have any incontinence or prolapse issues at all - I can happily trampoline or run or anything - no probs whatsoever.
I've never done keigels or whatever they're called.
I've always walked everywhere as I have no car and had to "hold on" for the loo for extended times if needing the loo due to the big distances between toilets on my walking routes! Maybe this has helped "tone" the relevant muscles!?
Anyway - not meaning to brag and obv sympathetic to anyone who is suffering the "usual" post childbirth issues - but I do feel a bit offended that people (twice had comments from friends husbands!) assume as I've had 4DC I must have issues. No I don't. (Apart from my saggy tum - now those muscles really are shot to pieces!).

VikingLady Tue 14-Jan-14 16:23:24

I had a prolapse after emcs, but also had bad spd during pg - the physio said they may be linked in my case, and the relaxin produced in pg had over-relaxed things!

My bits were a state afterwards despite doing kegels as often as the physio recommended. Then GussieGrippers on here said to do more! I now do them whenever I brush my teeth for the full length of time I am brushing, and a full set at the start of every bf session. I did them even more when the prolapse was bad - I did them throughout every feed too! Very hard work but worth it. Also the only exercise I actually do grin

Completely fine now. I could probably open beer bottles with it!

gamerchick Tue 14-Jan-14 16:26:03

Episiotomy and ventouse... being dragged out of me caused my vaginal walls to collapse in on themselves and cause a mild prolapse. I haven't felt much for 18 years despite no problems with waterworks and a good grip.

I REALLY wish I could go back in time and not have that epidural and maybe I could have pushed her out angry

WeeTeaJenny Tue 14-Jan-14 21:28:05

No difference at all after ceaserean
Looks normal after VB but partner says he feels it's different ' inside' now when having sex ?
Not sure what I can do about that though ? Havnt had any pain and it feels exactly the same to me during sex as before

1944girl Wed 15-Jan-14 00:16:19

Only given birth twice, both times CS.
No change at all in vagina, but I still have the piles and varicose veins in my legs caused by the pregnancies.Last ''baby'' is now 41.

MatildaWhispers Wed 15-Jan-14 00:32:03

Gave birth 3 times, all VB. I don't look quite the same down there, although I try not to look really. I had awful varicose veibs in second pregnancy but luckily just in my legs, nowhere more intimate. Sex felt the same as before, and had no complaints from partner. My third was born very quickly, and the midwife said she was surprised I hadn't torn badly, so I consider myself lucky. I haven't done pelvic floor exercises as much as I should have done. Have had no issues with incontinence, but I do feel uncomfortable on trampolines!

vichill Wed 15-Jan-14 00:46:32

I had a back to back birth with 20 stitches after a 2nd degree tear. Baby 6.5 months and honestly it seems back to normal (albeit dry due to bfing). It's weird trying to do a pelvic floor in the days following birth and you think that's it, it's wizard's sleeve, but it did spring back with the odd set of kegels. Seems easier to orgasm now. smile

HowBadCanThisGet Wed 15-Jan-14 01:19:04

1st baby was a ventouse with a cut, and that healed fine, no difference to trampolining etc. Child 2 was a very quick delivery, and I had a 'graze' which in effect was lots and lots of small tears, but they didn't stitch anything. Following DD2 I found sex painful for about 18 months, according to DH it feels different, and it definitely looks different too (the flaps are, um, flappier).

I am not incontinent, but find trampolines are challenging. I can do it if I go the toilet often.

FairyTrain Wed 15-Jan-14 19:55:42

One word..... PILATES....amazing wink

Meglet Wed 15-Jan-14 20:05:42

2 CS's and no problems. But as others have mentioned, I always did pelvic floors (years before I was even pregnant) and pilates. Running, jumping and sneezing are fine.

Just hearing the word 'gussie' sets me off clenching <holds for ten.....>.

ROARmeow Wed 15-Jan-14 20:17:39

2 vaginal births, decently sized babies, one of whom was back-to-back.

Vagina feels same tightness during sex (thank God!), but now my pee comes out at a funny angle and my farts do themselves.

Make of that what you will grin

mayhew Wed 15-Jan-14 20:59:53

I had a client recently with stress incontinence after difficult forceps first time. As a mw i was concerned and referred her to consultant to discuss el CS this time. I also referred to physio.

Forward to 28 weeks. She saw cons and declined elCs because she has improved so much after proper coaching from physio.

i really didn't think she could improve so much while pregnant! Shows me...

babynelly2010 Wed 15-Jan-14 22:25:57

1st birth, normal delivery in water, student MW chatting away about her holiday during crowning stage, panicked and pushed too hard without contraction, 2nd degree tear all along perineum, poor stitching came off, they forgot to tell me about my complete labia tear, found it for myself later, thank you very much dear MW for the shock of my life. NO it did not feel the same but it was kind of alright.
2nd birth, very fast delivery, very big baby with a hand to his face and turned a bit funny, got stack for few moments but came out after all with out major intervention, just the hand needed adjusting. The result is devastating. Second degree tear, they lied said it was just small nick and no stitching needed then put it in my discharge notes, I have 2nd degree anterior prolapse, 1st degree posterior prolapse, no sensation on the side where the baby's hand was and my labia tear obviously did not grow back together after that. Perineum is very short, vagina is HUGE. I do want reconstructive surgery and will have it done even if NHS will not give agrees to. If i knew how it will be now I would of most definitely gone with c-section. Operation on abdominal wall is much easier and less complicated than on the pelvic floor and vagina. In fact I don't understand why people want to go with VBAC after section... I am sure people would give me many reasons on this one but why take chances with vaginal birth when you already had a section... besides the recovery time...

Quintessentialmadonna Fri 17-Jan-14 20:56:38

I had back to back labour (ouch!) ventouse delivery with episiotomy. Felt different initially, but did pelvic floor exercises religiously and feels pretty normal now, sure still got some way to go (only 8 months on) my dd was big and 10 days overdue, so reckon she woulda been pulled out regardless if epidural i had! But next time I will aim for no epidural as really don't want an instrumental delivery again.

Kelly1814 Sat 18-Jan-14 14:23:02

I had an ELCS and my vajajay is completely intact and not changed in any way.

I did have a small baby (4 pounds) so maybe there was less pressure on it.

squiby2004 Sun 19-Jan-14 09:39:50

1 cs here and no different to before DD. DD was born at 33.5 weeks due to PE so haven't ever had the effects of late pregnancy to contend with either. Still using the smaller sized mooncup and I am 37, DD is 9. I do my keg also though, always have done.

fourlegstwolegs Tue 28-Jan-14 21:12:46

EMCS and actually it really hurt for ages, combination of dryness (BFing) and weirdly it was way too tight. It's fine now though and was from about 5 months ish. We DTD at 3 weeks.

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