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sex STILL painful 11 mths post-childbirth

(20 Posts)
MaeBee Sun 09-Sep-07 10:11:03

its been 11 months now, and penetration still hurts. actually, its more uncomfortable now, all on the side where the episiotomy is. i have very little sex drive anyway (breastfeeding?) but the fact that penetration is difficult doesn't help.
my dp isn't dead keen on penetration or anything anyway, so we often have non-penetrative sex, but i do want the option!
anyone been sewn too tight?or had this problem for so long?

allgonebellyup Sun 09-Sep-07 10:12:28

maybe just dont have sex any more then?

IlDuchessadiNorksSposa Sun 09-Sep-07 10:20:10

I would speak to your GP - who is bound to suggest lots of lubrication, especially as you are still b/f. You may also get referred to see a specialist with a view to corrective surgery (my midwife suggested it to me as I had a vertical vaginal tear but it healed up on it's own after a few months).

Are you planning anymore children?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 09-Sep-07 12:17:28

The episiotomy will probably need to be restitched. Badly torn episiotomies are a big problem.

I would make an appointment with your GP with a view to seeing a specialist who can help with regards to this problem. Sometimes ultrasound can be performed on the scar.

You should not have to put up with this indefinately - it is having an impact on your day to day life.

tutu100 Sun 09-Sep-07 12:41:43

My episiotomy caused me problems during sex. I was refer to have it operated on, but waited quite a while by which time it had healed on it's own. It took over a year though. But it healed quite dramatically once I stopped bf. Consultant thought this might be due to the hormones you produce whilst bf not allowing the healing process to finish properly. (not 100% sure of what he said exactly, but that was the gist of it).

I'm not suggesting you stop bf (I didn't stop until ds wanted to). But you may find it gets better when you do.

Go see your GP though because 11 months later sex should not still be painful.

it might just get better on its own. I had 3rd degree tears which resulted in painful sex. 2 years on it still hurts but not as badly as it did. (and i saw many a specialist who told me there was nothing wrong!)

MrsTittleMouse Sun 09-Sep-07 13:53:55

I have that problem too. I asked the GP to refer me, I saw an idiot first who didn't believe me, but then eventually saw a very nice consultant who advised again surgery. She did give me some "dilators" (graduated size dildo things to massage the scar) and vaginal oestrogen cream. She also told me to give up breastfeeding. It's been a couple of months now and things seem to be improving. [very supersitious and scared to admit it, in case I'm wrong!]
When I posted on Childbirth, quite a few people had had the same experience and had taken a year or more to heal properly though, so I do think there's hope.

Amethyst8 Sun 09-Sep-07 14:25:01

Had the same problem. I didnt have an episiotomy though. Apparently can be due to breast feeding - hormones etc. The midwives don t tell you this when they are expounding the positives of breastfeeding do they?

yomellamoHelly Sun 09-Sep-07 14:50:28

After ds1 (tore; 21 - I think - stitches) it was complete agony for 6 months and then painful for another year. After that just not the same as it was. (Stopped bfing at 6 months.) Was offered LA and surgery but couldn't do it. In fact my body pinged back a couple of weeks after ds2 arrived 3 years later.

MrsTittleMouse Sun 09-Sep-07 16:32:12

Agreed! No-one told me about breastfeeding delaying healing until I saw that consultant. That's why she prescribed the hormone cream (normally used for menopausal women!), to balance the hormones in my vagina a bit quicker.
I loved BFing and found it very convenient, but I'm not sure if I would have kept going had I known all the problems that it would cause my scar....

Tinasan Sun 09-Sep-07 16:44:43

I have this problem, except can't achieve penetration at all. I've been prescribed the hormone cream as I'm still bf my dd (10 months) - and tomorrow I'm going to hospital to have some injections. Apparently they should reduce the swelling and help the scar tissue to heal. Also I'm booked in for an operation to redo the episiotomy if the injections don't improve the situation. They haven't said anything to me about stopping bf though - I wonder if this will make a difference? I don't want to have the op unless I really have to, and I'm planning on stopping when she's 1 year old or thereabouts anyway...

Anyway enough about me - you should go and see your GP who can examine you internally and see if you've been stiched up too tightly or if there are any other problems. You don't need to suffer through this and they should be able to do a lot to help you...

MaeBee Sun 09-Sep-07 19:39:36

thankyou so much for all your messages. the idea that breastfeeding is hindering the process of healing isn't a new one to me, as ive been bombarded with anal problems too and im sure my lack of healing there has been bf related.
im still bfing as i said so maybe it will all heal once i stop...in a couple of months is the current plan! my period hasn't returned either, so hoping my libido will come with it, and a sudden enjoyment of sex.
sorry that you all have suffered with this too.
except allgonebellyup i presume?!? (wtf?!)
ILDuchess : havent decided about more children. not imminently anyway.
i do use a load of lube and my dp is really gentle when we try. i think i will go to my dr, shes dead good.

i find that i really miss the closeness of sex. we had full penetrative sex with me orgasming for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I broke down and cried just because I felt 'normal' again.
I felt impotent for the longest time.
If this were a male problem it would have been fixed immediately.

MrsTittleMouse Mon 10-Sep-07 08:18:35

I agree purplemonkeydishwasher, I really miss the closeness of DH being inside me. But I felt sometimes that I wasn't being taken seriously. In fact, I had to fight for treatment.
It sounds as though you won't get this MaeBee, if you have a good GP, but I was told things like "it could be worse, you could be incontinent, so you should count yourself lucky", or "you're anxious, it's all in you head". Just to warn you.

oh yes. the 'all in your head' one. i loved that.
not only is sex excrutiating. but now they think i'm nuts. woo frickin' hoo.

MaeBee Mon 10-Sep-07 09:30:33

it can be so hit and miss with dr's can't it? when i last went to see mine after anal surgery (hows that for a libido killer!?!) i did mention sex was still uncomfortable and she was cool about it, she said to try again after my arse seemed healed (don't think she used that phrase actually...grin) and if it wasn't better to come back and see her.
so i suppose i should. i guess i keep putting it off waiting for my arse to heal up cos thats more painful and immediate on a day to day level.

mrstitttlemouse: are the dilators just dildos? cos i have a couple of my own back from back in the day when i had sexual feelings, and my dp suggested maybe i should make time to masturbate on my own using them if possible. and did giving up bf help then? im not giving up earlier than planned, but it would be nice to know theres possibly improvement around the corner.

purplemonkey - so glad you got there! even if you are still in pain? 2 years on?

tinasan - how did your injections go?

MrsTittleMouse Mon 10-Sep-07 10:09:50

Yep! Very smooth graduated dildos. DH is impressed that I got sex toys on the NHS! grin The difference is that because they are graduated, I can start with the small one, and move up when I'm ready. And because they're so smooth and rounded, I can use them to massage the scar.
And I hate to say this, but giving up breastfeeding and using the hormone cream do seem to have made a big difference, sorry, it's probably not what you want to hear.
Sorry to hear about your anal surgery: ouch! Hope that things improve soon.

MaeBee Mon 10-Sep-07 11:01:56

ouch indeed to anal surgery. my boy ripped me apart big time it seems!
could you use the ostrogen cream while bf? it isn't what i wanted to hear about giving up, but my boy is 11 mths now and i am anyway planning to stop soon after 12 mths, so it is kind of good news. it does seem to be the big secret about bfing, how much ruin it can do to your healing processes!

bubblagirl Mon 10-Sep-07 11:06:32

i had alot of stitches inside and out and only just beginning to find it comfortable my ds it 2.4 but i dont thin k it has too much to do with stiches i think i could never fully relax and was tense all the time aas i too never really felt in the mood

but felt obliged to do so and was always worrying about down therew and it was sore still but i think it was the fact i could never relax enough made it feel worse maybe keep doing what your doing as we did pleasure in other ways untill i truly felt sexy enough to relax

but you could speak to gp also as i did and all was well it was down to my emotional state of not allowing myself to relax fully good luck

MrsTittleMouse Mon 10-Sep-07 11:38:07

The doctor who prescibed the cream for me did so knowing that I was going to give up BFing. I started cutting down on feeds right away. So I don't know if it's OK for continuing BFing, although it can't be deadly poisonous, or she'd have banned me from BFing there and then!
I had planned to feed until 12 months too, but I figured that DD had had 9.5-10 months of BM, which is better than most. She was a bit of a biter too, so I had a ready excuse for anyone who asked! I need my vagina to heal wasn't an answer they needed to hear. grin

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