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General health

Bad Episiotomy - Please Help

23 replies

loobywoof · 16/05/2005 22:06

Asked doctor to look at my undercarriage at postnatal check because I knew that things were not right. Had episiotomy 7 weeks ago (due to forceps delivery) and I still cannot sit down for a wee as it stings too much over the raw skin. Also still a bit sore to sit down. Doctor agreed it hasn't healed properly and has given me antibiotics to try but is expecting to have to refer me to hospital for a repair. Please can anyone tell me if they were repaired successfully and how bad the recovery was as I am terrifed of the 'can't sit down, can't poo, can't walk, hurts all the time' stage again. Also how long did you have to wait to be fixed? Have read some previous postings of women who thought things were fine until they tried to have sex but this is different bacause I am too sore to even think about it so also don't know if there is anything to worry about that way. I am really upset about all this as it has spoilt what was otherwise a more positive birth experience for me after a previous c-section. Please help.

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hunkermunker · 16/05/2005 22:10

I know several people who have been repaired very successfully after tears/episiotomies weren't stitched right to begin with. I think it's a very successful operation because the trauma swelling from the birth has gone and they can see what they're repairing, if you see what I mean.

I'm really sorry that you're having this pain - I had a bad tear with DS that took ages to heal, but in the end I didn't need a repair - just time to heal. But what you describe is worse than what I had, so I think you're doing the right thing going to hospital to get it looked at as soon as possible.

loobywoof · 16/05/2005 22:36

Thanks Hunkermunker. Had not considered that about it being difficult to get right 1st time cause of swelling. I am wondering though if people go through the repair and it is still not right do they shut up and put up rather than go through yet another operation. Actually though I think I am being rather pessimistic and should learn to think more positively!!

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hunkermunker · 16/05/2005 22:37

The people I know who have had it done (I know three) have ALL said it's MUCH better (and two of them have gone on to have another child

loobywoof · 17/05/2005 08:13

Thanks. That's really positive. Luckily though I am not in a rush for any more - if at all. I am very lucky to have been blessed with one of each.
Can anyone else out there tell me about their experience to reassure me further??

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loobywoof · 17/05/2005 20:22

can anyone else help??

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hellomama · 17/05/2005 20:50

oh you poor thing. Well done for telling your doctor though, lots of people just put up and shut up first time around, so you're doing well to get this far! It does sound like it hasn't healed yet and therefore there is a chance it could settle down in time. Sometimes these things can take up to 6 months to properly, properly settle down (worst case scenario) so don't give up hope. But it probably is a good idea to get yourself on the waiting list now just in case. Not sure how long it takes to have done though - if you do end up needing a repair. Repairs are generally very good as you're not swollen from the trauma of childbirth at the time of surgery and it won't be as painful afterwards because you don't have all the soreness from childbirth that goes along with the episiotomy and forceps. Hope it goes well.

Bugsy2 · 18/05/2005 12:12

loobywoof, I had a bad epi experience with my first after failed ventouse & very high forceps delivery. My stiches were too tight & my scar became infected and hurt so much for ages.
My GP and midwives were very helpful and showed me how to massage the scar tissue to help it breakdown & encourage healing. I used to keep a jug of water by the loo to pour over myself when I had a pee to stop the stinging. I also used to have warm shallow baths with salt & a few drops of lavender oil to try and keep it clean and encourage healing. I couldn't wipe myself normally for about 3 months. Used to have to do complicated manouevres with loo roll all around but not actually touching.
I was sore for months though & sex was out of the question for 5 months as it hurt so much.

On the plus side, I went on to have another baby - did rip the length of the scar but was stitched up again with much less discomfort and have had no problems since. Which is my way of saying that if they do have to repair you - then hopefully it should be much better.

loobywoof · 21/05/2005 10:21

Hi Bugsy2 - that sounds exactly like me!! Have been to see a 2nd Doc as 1st was away. I feel much better now as he thinks a repair is unnecessary at moment. This is a huge relief as I've had an operation while breastfeeding before and it's a hassle I can do without. He said the wound is actually 'over-granulating' now - (over healing) and it is infected. So I'm on 2 lots of antibiotics now. From what I understand the healing will take a long time and I'll end up with a bigger, bumpier, more unsightly scar at the end of it all.
I am going to try the lavender in the bath I think - sounds like a good idea( already using the salt). I so know what you mean about the wiping though - it's impossible isn't it.

Bugsy2 - thankyou so much for taking the time to post your experience. I have talked to a lot of friends who thought all was fine until they tried to have sex but no one at all who just didn't heal. It means a lot to me that you understand what I am going through - though I am so sorry you had to go through it too! You also give me hope that I will actually be able to have sex again one day!!

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lilybubble · 21/05/2005 10:58

Hi Looby, I'm afraid I understand what you're going through too. DD was born very quickly and I tore quite badly and had episiotomy. I was very very sore afterwards, sitting down hurt and I knew something was wrong despite midwife saying otherwise. After a month I got an infection and was given steroid cream, which didn't seem to help at all. At 6-week check doc agreed things were not right and said to come back at 3 months if things still not right. The infection did clear, but sex was very painful, so I did go back. Got referred back to hospital and went to see consultant who said stitching had not been done too well and scar had not healed properly and I'd need surgery.

Got a date for 8.5 months after the birth. The op itself was absolutely fine. Just day surgery (though under general), so only in for a few hours. Came round feeling no pain whatsoever, and felt completely fine and walked home with dh. Even did the housework that afternoon, I felt so well!

Had sex about 4 weeks later and was still not that great, but better than it had been. It has got better still, but there is still discomfort. I went back to consultant last month, for a check up 1 year post-op. Unfortunately he felt that another area still needs work, so I have got to go back in for another op in the next couple of months.

DD will be 2 in July, so it's upsetting this has dragged on so long. I am really worried about giving birth again, as we do plan to have more. Still, worse things happen, and in the great scheme of things this is not too bad a thing to have to go through.

Hope your experience is more positive than this! Let us know how you get on.

loobywoof · 21/05/2005 21:37

Hi Lilybubble, Thanks for sharing your experience and I am pleased that so far it is working out OK - apart from the 2nd op that is. BYW I was also told by the midwife that things were fine when I had a gut feeling they weren't! You know it really makes me mad at how many people need repairs and have other trouble because of dodgy stiching in the 1st place. Can't the doctors etc take more care??
I'd be interested to know which ones go wrong most actually - doc stitched or midwife stiched. I was stitched by a doctor but I have a friend who had no trouble after been stitched by a midwife.

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lilybubble · 21/05/2005 23:20

Hi again Looby,
I was stitched by a nurse, who bizarrely was like something out of another age. All the midwives were in scrubs, and she was in uniform with little starched cap, and was white-haired, honestly looked about 70. It took an hour to stitch and it was almost as painful as the birth. I had local anaesthetic but it didn't seem to work. If I need stitches next time I am going to insist on a general anaesthetic! It also meant I didn't get to hold my daughter for 2 hours

I think it was my episiotomy scar that got infected, but that wasn't the area that needed the surgery.

I don't know of anyone else personally that has had this problem, none of my friends did!!

Anyway, I hope it reassures you to know that the repair surgery was absolutely fine, just frustrating it took so long to get done really. Good luck!!

pootlepod · 21/05/2005 23:42

Looby I had this over-granulation too. Think it's caused when your body heals faster!! I got antibiotics to take and fudicin cream to apply, this did help as well as lots of baths etc. Things weren't normal for about 3 months (sex) but have been fine since. Keep going back to the docs if you don't feel it's getting better.

loobywoof · 22/05/2005 09:18

Thanks for posting Pootle. Ever find out why you healed too quick?? My doctor said it's just one of those things. Pleased to hear things are more normal now - it gives me hope that eventually I will be too.

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pooka · 22/05/2005 18:38

I had a bad tear and was stitched up too tight. Healed fine after antibiotics but ....well it had consequences! Dr noticed how tight the opening was at the 8 week check. Had the restitching done when dd was about 8 months. Had been on wating list. Hated the actual procedure. Had a local as was breast feeding. A mistake, in retrospect. But the op worked 100%. Healed fine afterwards and would n't know I'd had it done, nor had a baby. Now expecting No. 2, which frankly wouldn't have been possible without the op. Good luck and hope that all goes well. Just makes me think, that there is no right way - epis can be just as harmful as tears and vice versa. God knows what'll happen this time

loobywoof · 22/05/2005 20:12

congratulations on expecting baby no 2 pooka.

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pooka · 22/05/2005 21:24

Thanks At one stage thought dd would be only child. Amazing how everything seems worth it in the end

Dahlia · 22/05/2005 21:31

Hi loobywoof, I've only just seen this thread - after I had dd1 I had alot of pain from badly healed episiotomy, sex was very painful and so was doing a poo - about 8 months later I had it repaired, operation was a success, although I got a nasty infection afterwards (but that was quickly cleared up with antibiotics), and once everything had healed I was fine, and it really didn't take long to heal - sex was no longer painful, and going to the loo was much better. I have since had second dd and was a bit scared about tearing or having another episiotomy, but I only had a small tear, few stitches, and it all healed nicely and there were no problems whatsoever.

Dumpy · 23/05/2005 10:27

I know it sounds awful but I'm so glad that it's not just me with a bad episiotomy! I had mine nearly 9 months ago but was over in Germany. After reading this thread I'm definately going to the docs as it is STILL painful when me and the hubby do the business! I didn't realise that people had repairs on their scars! I'm so stupid to leave it so long. I did go back to the German hospital a couple of times as my stitches hadn't dissolved so the doc PULLED them out without painkillers! It hurt like hell, I screamed the place down! It does feel better than it did but it's taking it's time to heal.

loobywoof · 25/05/2005 09:25

Hi all. I'm back at Docs tomorrow and am hoping for good news - i.e. the antibiotics have worked. I'll let you know.
Do go to docs Dumpy - you do get used to the embarrassement!!

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Dumpy · 25/05/2005 11:29

I've made an appointment for the docs. Im dreading getting my bits out again! I know they've seen it all before so I just need to get it over and done with! I hope it doesn't need repairing! The last doc I saw just said I was a slow healer. Can't see how cos with my first daughter I was ok just a few weeks after birth!

lilybubble · 25/05/2005 18:30

Ooh Dumpy you poor thing, can't believe you have gone so long with that pain! Great to hear you have got an appt; I know what you mean about the embarrasment though, it doesn't get easier, does it!!? I'd never heard of any of this either, but was in so much pain I didn't have much choice. Was mortified, but must say everyone has always been really, really lovely. Let us know how you get on!

Looby, do let us know how you get on at the doc's too. Fingers are crossed for you!

loobywoof · 30/05/2005 20:02

Hi all.Went to Docs on Thursday and he admitted he didn't know what to do next. So he got one of the other partners to look! So there's two of them umming and ahing - how embarrassing. Actually they were both really kind and very sympathetic. They agreed that they wanted to refer me and I went up to the hospital straight after my appointment at GPs!!!! Consultant was also very kind. Had a look and said that it will heal eventually it is just going to take a lot of time. He gave me some antibiotic cream aswell. He also said though that I might need a repair later. The funniest thing is that he told me that to help it to heal quicker I need to wear a skirt as much as possible and wear no underwear!! I have been doing this since but must admit mostly around the house only - it's been a bit gusty this weekend!! My husband thinks it's hilarious.

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Bugsy2 · 30/05/2005 21:00

laughing at your post Looby - but in a nice way! So glad all went well, despite the prodding your endured. I had a similar experience with my GP rummaging around and squeezing bits of scar tissue. Definitely not my most dignified moment. I do think fresh air helps and with any luck the antibiotic cream will help prevent re-infection.
I found that baby wipes were good too(non-scented for sensitive skin), before I could make the transition back to normal loo roll. Had forgotten that when I posted last time.

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