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Vaginal Pain After Pregnancy: How Much Is Normal?

Vaginal Pain After Pregnancy: How Much Is Normal?

Most moms-to-be know uterine contractions during labor and delivery are painful. But it can be disheartening to hear that the pain doesn’t necessarily end once you welcome your new baby into the world.

Postpartum pain is something every new mom faces. Every birth experience is different, and every mother’s recovery looks different too. However, learning what to expect can help you feel more prepared for the weeks after birth.

With comprehensive obstetrics services in Conroe, Texas, Farly Sejour, MD, Natalie Gould, WHNP-BC, and our team at Solace Women's Care are here to support you. Here’s what to expect when it comes to vaginal pain after pregnancy.

What to expect with postpartum pain

Having a baby is a major medical event, whether you have a Cesarean delivery (C-section) or vaginal delivery. Pregnancy and birth put intense pressure on the organs and tissues in your pelvis, often causing swelling, bruising, and soft tissue tears. 

Your body needs time to recover in the postpartum period. But what’s normal for you depends on the type of birth you had and any complications you experienced.

If you had a vaginal delivery with no tears

When you give birth vaginally, your vagina stretches to make room for your baby to be born. It’s designed to accommodate your baby, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t uncomfortable.

Labor and birth put intense pressure on your vagina, anus, and perineum, which is the area between your genitals and anus. Inflammation and swelling are common after vaginal delivery, and the pain may last several weeks.

If you had a vaginal delivery with tears or an episiotomy

Sometimes, the soft tissue around your vagina and perineum can tear during birth. Tears range from small lacerations in the skin to more severe lacerations that affect skin, muscle, and other tissues. An episiotomy is a medical incision that’s sometimes required to help your baby exit.

A tear or episiotomy may require stitches, and women who experience these complications may have more pain immediately after birth. The wound may take up to 10 days to heal, and the injured area may continue to feel painful for several weeks.

If you had a C-section

It’s easy to assume that if you didn’t have a vaginal birth, you won’t have vaginal pain postpartum. However, if you had a C-section after labor already started, vaginal pain may be part of your recovery too.

You may experience vaginal swelling after a C-section. Vaginal pain and swelling vary, depending on how long you labored, whether you started pushing, and whether your baby’s head began to crown before you went into surgery.

When to call the doctor about postpartum pain

Some pain in the first few weeks of the postpartum period is normal for most new moms. Every woman is different, so if you have questions about postpartum care, don’t hesitate to ask.

Our team works with women of all ages to help them prepare for labor, delivery, and postpartum care. Even after your baby is born, we can offer guidance on postpartum care and ways to make your recovery easier.

In most cases, vaginal pain and other postpartum symptoms should improve within about 6-12 weeks. Call the doctor immediately if you notice symptoms like:

These symptoms could indicate an infection, which requires medical care.

It’s easy to be distracted by caring for your new baby, but it’s important to recognize that you need care too. 

Talk to our team about managing postpartum vaginal pain and find ways to make your transition to motherhood more comfortable. Contact us at 936-441-7100 or send us a message online today.

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