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Painful sex over a year after baby

(19 Posts)
muminmanchester Sat 04-Mar-17 10:11:19

Hi all. I'm having a low day and just want to vent all these feelings somewhere. Sorry it's quite long but I hope somebody anywhere has some words of advice for me.

I'm still finding sex excruciatingly painful over a year after DS was born. I had forceps and episiotomy, but the episiotomy has healed fine. The pain is internal and quite high up. It feels like knives inside me whenever I try to have sex. I have to bite my hand to stop from crying out with pain.

6 weeks ago I had steroid injections under general to attempt to loosen the muscle but there's been no improvement. I asked the consultant if I can expect to ever return to normal and she basically said no, but that I'll get used to the new normal. Her assessment is that it's nerve damage caused by birth trauma.

The pain is not easing with time and I'm at the point now where I absolutely dread sex. I'm scared when DH is affectionate to me because I'm so nervous that it might turn into sex. I hate being frightened when DH is near. I love him completely and he would never ever pressure or force me into sex. But I love him and want us to have a fulfilling sex life.

My mind often goes down these dark little roads: I can't expect him to stay with me forever with no sex life. How can I ask him to go without? How can I face my own life without sex? I'm only 31. I can't bear the thought that I might never enjoy sex again. I want another child but have no idea how I'd ever conceive one let alone give birth again.

I had a few glasses of wine last night and got very teary about it all. Not for the first time! But it's very much on my mind today.

Has anyone got any positive stories to share?

I'm thinking of going down the acupuncture route. What do you think?

Bhar78 Wed 08-Mar-17 20:26:05

Hi, so sorry to hear what you are going through. I had a forceps delivery with my first daughter and I also suffered from painful sex after. I thought this was just how it was after a baby and avoided sex. It all came to a head when I went for a Pap smear about six months after my daughter was born. The nurse couldn't do it as I was sobbing with pain and she referred me to a lovely lady doctor in the practice who specialises in women's health. She said I had scar tissue in my vagina from a tear caused by the forceps and basically the pain I felt was from the scar trying to stretch. Her recommendation was to use my fingers and plenty of lube every few days to gently stretch the scar tissue at my pace (with or without husband's help!). She also said she could prescribe dilators if the DIY method did not work. Without going into too much detail, I took her advice and it did work. I slowly build up my confidence and everything got back to normal quite quickly. We went on to have a second child and thankfully the delivery was very straightforward and everything healed perfectly this time. Hope this helps calm your fears a bit. Please don't suffer in silence, try my doctor's advice or ask to see a specialist if you need to and remember this is not the end of your sex life. Good luck!

muminmanchester Wed 08-Mar-17 21:16:40

Thank you Bhar I really appreciate that. I'm willing to try anything so that will be my next step. Sorry that you had a shit time of it to!

Out of interest how long was it from you starting stretching to feeling ok? X

Bhar78 Wed 08-Mar-17 23:26:43

Hi, I can't quite remember as it was almost four years ago but it wasn't that long. A few weeks I think.

muminmanchester Thu 09-Mar-17 07:35:45

That's amazing. So encouraging. Thank you!!! Xxx

muminmanchester Tue 11-Apr-17 20:42:09

I just wanted to update this in case anyone stumbles across this thread in future with a similar problem.

I've had some acupuncture over the last couple of weeks and been using moxa sticks to heat the area 2-3 times a week. I am a massive complementary therapies sceptic so wasn't holding out much hope but was ready to give anything a try. To my amazement, it has worked. Pain levels reduced steadily and now pretty much non existent! I could jump I'm so happy, I thought that enjoying sex was over for me.

It could all be in my head, it could just coincide timing wise with natural improvements but who cares?! I'm feeling better!

So if anyone in future finds this thread with a similar problem, I would definitely recommend giving acupuncture a try. You've nothing to lose and it might just help! X

Elvisrocks Tue 11-Apr-17 20:45:47

That's a fabulous update!!

muminmanchester Tue 11-Apr-17 21:18:15

Thanks Elvis I think so!!

elQuintoConyo Tue 11-Apr-17 21:30:34

Great news! Just stumbled across this in active convos- i too had those steroid injections but under local anaesthetic!

Followed by reconstructive surgery.

5 years on and i am better. My journey was a lot longer <weljel emoticon>

MadeForThis Tue 11-Apr-17 21:35:25

Great update!!

summerfling Wed 12-Apr-17 10:34:57

I'm glad I found this!

I had the same delivery, I'm just not at the stage of sex yet.

This all happened only 16 days ago, I'm praying it heals as it should

TwoDogs9 Wed 12-Apr-17 21:31:35

Oh god I could have written the OP myself. Waited 14 weeks to do the deed and was worried so used loads of lube but it felt like knives high up and we had to stop. I also had forceps and episiotomy but that has healed fine. Not sure I can face ever having sex again!! šŸ˜©

summerfling Thu 13-Apr-17 08:22:36

Two, that sounds awful!

Have you spoken to a doctor to find out why??

jobrum Thu 13-Apr-17 08:44:06

I had ventouse and a slightly stuck large headed baby. I had the exact same feeling - oddly not the first time we had sex again about ten or so weeks ago but the times after that it hurt quite often. I mentioned it to a lovely gp and she sent me for an ultrasound to check no problems as some of the pain was quite high up but she also said it was likely to be bits of scar tissue. She told me sex would help as it would soften the tissue and if I could find a comfortable posisition to go ahead but if it was just too painful to go back and she could refer me further. We just stopped if it started to hurt. About a year later there was no more pain.

Bhar78 Thu 13-Apr-17 09:25:05

Manchester- I'm so glad you are feeling better. I'm also not sure about alternative therapies, but have no experience of them really. Maybe the acupuncture helped you relax and not being tense would have helped so much.
It really irks me that there is no follow up advice given to women who have had an assisted delivery. From these posts it sounds like a really common after effect. Surely something as simple as giving us a leaflet after the birth or even a discussion of sex after forceps by the doctor in the 6 week check would help loads.

TwoDogs9 Thu 13-Apr-17 10:00:57

I agree Bhar, but it's pretty typical! I'm almost too scared to go to GP but I suppose I'll have to because the smear test scenario alone is scaring me half to death, they were bad enough before so I really don't fancy it now šŸ˜³

Youdontwanttodothat Thu 13-Apr-17 10:04:30

Thanks for the update. To anyone with same situation, please don't suffer in silence. It can totally fuck up your relationship and, frankly, your life.
Currently rebuilding stuff after this.

muminmanchester Thu 13-Apr-17 22:25:17

Sorry for delay, I've been offline for a few days. I'm so sorry to hear that so many of us have had the same kind of problems. It was such a shock to me - no-one ever, ever mentioned long lasting physical ramifications from birth to me. I genuinely thought it would be sore for a month or two and then be pretty much back to normal. DS is now 16 months and for things to have only just got better is pretty poor in my opinion.

TwoDogs, go to your GP and insist on a gynaecologist referral. Maybe do your research into the best consultants in your area and go armed with some names you would like to be referred to.

I felt there was a lot of dismissal of my issues and I had to fight quite hard to get medical help.

I'm sure if men went through this shit there would be a proper management process and treatment identified!

Bhar yes info at the 6 week check stage would be v helpful!

TwoDogs9 Fri 14-Apr-17 11:32:51

Thanks manchester, I will go to GP when I can pluck up the courage. Can't imagine we have any cutting edge specialists where I live though as it's a very rural area! šŸ™„

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