To mommy makeover down there or not? That is the question.
Ever wondered if your vagina will ever recover from childbirth?
Surely, after it’s pushed out something the size of a watermelon it will never be the same again? And do our partners even notice a difference during sex? There are so many questions!
But before you arrange an awkward lunch date with your friends to discuss the topic, here are 10 things you should know about how your vagina after giving birth…
10 ways your vagina changes after giving birth
1. Your vagina will feel sore for a few days / weeks
Your lower regions can feel painful or sore in the immediately after childbirth.
This will usually improve six to 12 weeks after you have given birth, especially if you needed stitches.
2. You may feel like you’re going to wet yourself at times
It’s estimated that 30 per cent of women will experience some form of bladder leakage after birth, particularly when exercising.
While common, urinary incontinence shouldn’t be accepted as just one of the post-birth thing, in fact many cases it can be easily treated if you visit your doctor instead of continuing to rely on pads.
The most common form of treatment is pelvic floor exercises, which are designed to strengthen these muscles through actively tightening and lifting them at intervals.
3. Your vagina may be drier for a while
Postpartum vaginal dryness is a common occurrence.
Estrogen and progesterone levels decline dramatically after you give birth and these hormones are what causes your uterus lining to build up but as these are decreased it may leave down there feeling very dry.
Once you stop nursing, your vagina should go back to normal.
4. Your discharge may be heavy
Following the birth of your baby, your body will get rid of the blood and tissue that was inside your uterus.
This is known as vaginal discharge. It may be heavy or bright red and could contain blood clots.
This should only last for a few weeks.
5. There could be some scar tissue down there
Not all women have scar tissues after birth, usually only those who have had a tear or episiotomy.
These scars could heal on their own or you may need an operation to have them removed.
6. Your period may become heavier
Your first period after pregnancy may be heavier than normal.
However, women who suffered from endometriosis before pregnancy may notice their periods are lighter.
7. It could feel wider
Some women feel their vagina is looser after giving birth, but this may be because it’s feeling quite tender and bruised.
After the swelling has gone down it may feel like it’s back to normal or tampons don’t fit the same as they did. For some women, sex actually feels better.
If you’re worried, talk to your doctor and they could give you some pelvic floor exercises to help strengthen it.
8. It may be a different colour
Rising hormone levels and increased blood flow may also cause your clitoris to change colour and become darker.
“Colour changes are also related to increased hormone levels and increased blood flow,” obstetrician Dr. Alex Polyakov tells The Healthy Mommy.
“Some colour changes in hormone sensitive areas such as areolae of breasts and labial and clitoral regions may be permanent but will probably fade with time.”
9. You could experience a vaginal pro-lapse
It is actually possible for your vagina to fall out! With utero-vaginal prolapse, the vagina can fall due to poor pelvic floor strength.
This usually occurs after childbirth or menopause.
10. Your orgasms may change
Some women don’t have orgasms for a while after childbirth whereas some women may notice a heightened sense of pleasure in their nether regions.
“Blood flow and increased levels or oestrogen and progesterone during pregnancy may produce physiological changes, such as heightened sexual pleasure and increased ease in achieving orgasm,” explains Dr. Alex.
“Some women may experience an orgasm for the first time or become multi-orgasmic.”
If you are are concerned about the changes you’ve noticed with your vagina, we advise you to speak with your doctor or midwife.
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