What happens to your vagina after childbirth?

This is a burning question for most women – and men too! You are probably wondering what condition you’ll be in ‘down there’ after you give birth. Will it look different? Will sex be the same? Will I feel discomfort for a while?

The truth of the matter is that there’s really no way to sugarcoat it: There will be many changes to your vagina after childbirth. Don’t freak out just yet though — it might not be as bad as you think. We’ll tell you what you should prepare yourself for and what not to worry about.

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Changes to your vagina after childbirth: vaginal tearing

As the baby moves down the cervix to find its way out through the vagina during labour, the vaginal opening dilates to many times its normal size to allow the baby to slip out. The unusual dilation of vagina may cause a tear along the perineum (the area lying between the anus and the vagina), or have to be cut by the doctor (depending upon the circumstances) to allow the baby out.

The tearing of this area is medically called episiotomy, and you may have to be stitched up depending on the depth of the cut or tear. A smaller cut or tear may not give you any discomfort, while deeper lacerations of your vagina after childbirth, may need up to a month to heal and cause you difficulties urinating or passing stool.

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Perineal pain and soreness

Read why you may experience vaginal looseness on the next page…