The female body is blessed with this muscular organ called vagina that allows the unborn baby to come into this world. It is difficult imagining how the baby’s head can be pushed out through such a tiny orifice. However, a woman’s body is capable of wonders—if she can foster a life inside, she can as well allow it to grow and develop and be born into the world.
When talking about birth, we women are apprehensive about few things that are very apparent. The most significant is the baby’s health—whether the little life that remained in the chalice of the womb for 9 long months is doing okay. The second is the pain experienced during childbirth and whether we will be able to survive through it.
The third and still important point is whether our vaginas will ever be the same after childbirth.
The Curious Case Of Vagina
The vagina is made for childbirth—it is an incredible part of our bodies that give us the power of birthing a human baby.
A woman’s body constantly prepares itself for the day of delivery. An array of hormones come into play, making our body more efficient for childbirth.
For instance, the hormone estrogen causes an increase in the blood flow to the vagina, enhancing its ability to stretch when the baby moves down the birth canal. Hormone relaxin softens the ligaments around the pelvic region, which allows the joints to expand during birth, making it easier for the baby to pass through.
Despite being prepared for the final frontier, the vagina still suffers bruises and gets wounded during the childbirth.
Childbirth And Perineum Tear
The process of birth is like a traumatic experience for your vagina. You may feel swelling and soreness down there after giving birth. The abrasions from the birth can feel painful and uncomfortable for about 3-5 weeks. Though the pain will gradually subside over days, the discomfort is likely to happen when you sit, urinate, or even sneeze.
In the case of perineum tear, the area between the vagina and anus suffers a cut during childbirth, which is made by the doctors for the baby to pass through without rupturing the tissues (the practice called episiotomy has become rare now).
You may receive stitches and the wound may take around 10 days to heal. Perineum tear is common during the first delivery. Here is how to avoid a perineum tear.
If you had a c-section, your vagina may not experience a stretch of such a degree. However, if you did push before a c-section was performed, your nether regions including the cervix, perineum and the vagina will still be under strain. Vaginal stretching and discomfort that follows are evident if you were close to crowning (the baby’s head was about to emerge) but had to undergo a c-section later on.
Vagina After Birth
The truth is that your vagina won’t be the same after you have given birth. That being said, the difference isn’t distinguishable unless you experienced a 3rd or 4th-degree perineum tear during your delivery.
However, your doctor will advise you to abstain from having sex for as long as 6 weeks after birth irrespective of whether you had a c-section or a vaginal birth.
Kegel exercises can help strengthen the pelvic muscles as well tighten them. You can start practicing these exercises a month or two before your delivery and continue them after birth.
There is no assurance that your vagina will be of the same shape and size, but that doesn’t really matter because sex will still be pleasurable. In fact, having a baby can bring you and your partner closer.
However, your doctor will give you a green signal for an intercourse only after a medical checkup, 6 weeks after the delivery. Avoid using tampons or inserting anything inside the vagina. Wait until you are completely healed to prevent the risk of an infection.