Vaginal Changes To Expect After Giving Birth
Pregnancy is a wonderful joyride that takes women on a journey of change and acceptance. Our bodies go through dozens of changes and it can be shocking, overwhelming, exciting, scary, blissful–all at the same time. Once you've given birth, trust me, nothing is the same. Not even your va-jay-jay. Whether you've just found out that you're pregnant or if you're about to give birth in a few months (or weeks!), you may be curious to know what happens down there after birth. In this article, let's go over some of the changes that you can expect to your vagina after delivery:
Needless to say, if you've had a vaginal delivery, your vagina is going to look and feel much 'wider and stretched out in comparison to your pre-birth vagina. Since there's a lot of pressure and pushing involved, there may even be vaginal tears or perineal tears (ouch!). Fret not, these are very common and as many as 9 out of 10 women have them. Women who have C-sections (without any pushing) will most likely not have a stretched-out vagina. Although, this doesn't mean that a C-section is better or worse than a vaginal delivery. In both cases, women go through tremendous physical, mental, and emotional changes.
Needless to say, you're most probably going to have bruises and soreness down there. The pain and discomfort disappear in a few weeks, depending on the condition of the birth. Tears may take a while to heal. It must be understood that every woman is different and recovery varies between different women. Some women may take time to recover and that's completely fine. Plenty of nutritious food and proper sleep is much needed during this time, along with lots of love, care, and support from loved ones.
The vagina feels a lot dryer since the estrogen levels are lower when you're breastfeeding. This typically goes away once you've stopped nursing. In rare conditions, vaginal dryness can also be due to postpartum thyroiditis when your thyroid glands become inflamed after giving birth
Due to hormonal changes, the skin around your vagina, inner thighs, nipples, and other sensitive areas may become darker during pregnancy. Women may also face discoloration after giving birth. In some cases, it may be temporary and your skin will go back to its original state after some time, while for others, it may be permanent.
One of the most embarrassing things that some women face after birth is leaking urine. They end up peeing a little while coughing, sneezing, or laughing. Any activity that puts a little pressure on their bladder is going to cause them to leak urine. This happens because the pelvic floor muscles become weaker and can no longer hold the urine. For several women, this is a temporary issue that disappears after a year while for others, it may persist and require professional attention. If you're facing urinary incontinence, it's best to contact your healthcare provider and let them know. Most practitioners would recommend pelvic floor strengthening exercises.
The most important part is to love yourself. These changes can be embarrassing and annoying. You may feel uncomfortable in your own body because of these changes as if everything has changed. It's completely normal to have any of these changes and having a body that is different from your pre-pregnancy body doesn't make you any less of a woman. If anything, you become a much stronger, bolder, and powerful woman than you were before. You go, girl!
It's your turn to let me know about your post-pregnancy experience. Bring it on!
Samia Arshan is a freelance content writer based in New Delhi. She loves writing about parenting, fertility, women's health and wellness, fitness/nutrition, mental health and much more!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.