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Be Pain Free Down There

While going through normal delivery, the baby travels through the birth canal (cervix and vagina) to eventually come out into this world through the introitus (entrance of the vagina). During childbirth, all these structures are stretched extensively to allow the baby to pass through. As the birth canal dilates to accommodate the baby, the structures around it—the bladder and rectum, for example—are also stretched by being pushed outwards. The weight of the baby along with strenuous pushing weakens the pelvic-floor muscles, which support the internal organs. When this happens, the bladder, uterus, or bowel or all three can shift from their normal positions. Besides this, the skin between the vagina and anus gets bruised and might tear or be cut (episiotomy) by the doctor to allow the baby out. An episiotomy or vaginal tear might hurt for a few weeks. Extensive tears might take longer to heal.

The most common vaginal symptoms and discomfort a new mum may feel include:

  • Pain and burning around the introitus leading to painful urination and defecation.
  • Heaviness or bulge in the vagina leading to urinary incontinence—sometimes even faecal leakage.
  • Piles (enlarged veins) may appear around the anus and rectum, usually caused by pressure from constipation during pregnancy or from pushing during labour. These may sometimes bleed while passing stools.
  • It is not unusual for women to feel that their vagina is open and appears looser and drier than usual. All these problems usually tend to get resolved on their own with time. In the meantime, these tips may help reducing pain and discomfort.
  • Place an ice pack between the sanitary pad and wound to reduce pain by reducing inflammation and swelling.
  • Pour warm water over the vaginal opening if passing urine hurts.
  • Press a clean pad firmly against the wound while bearing down for a bowel movement. This will help to ease pain in the stitched area due to pushing stools.
  • Pour a gentle stream of water every time while using the toilet to keep the area clean and hygienic. n Sit on a pillow or air filled ring if sitting gives discomfort.
  • Soak into a warm tub while taking a bath to soothe pain. Applying cold packs also numb the sting and help ease the discomfort while the haemorrhoids heal.

Tackling Incontinence

Pregnancy and birth stretch the connective tissue at the base of the bladder and can cause nerve and muscle damage to the bladder or urethra. This might cause leaking of urine on coughing, straining or laughing (also known as stress incontinence). Fortunately, this problem usually improves within 3 months. In the meantime, do Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Tighten pelvic muscles as if stopping the stream of urine. Initially the muscles don’t appear to move but it is important to go on trying and they will start working. (It’s no differ ent from training your abs or biceps—you want to make your pelvic muscles taut.) Try it for 5 seconds at a time, 4 or 5 times in a row. Work up to keep the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions. Aim for as many sets of 10 repetitions a day at any time during the day, for instance while watching TV or chatting with friends on the phone.

Enjoying Sex Life

Sexual intercourse can be resumed as soon as one desires it and it is comfortable. If delivery causes tearing, or if an episiotomy is done, sexual intercourse should be delayed until the affected area heals to avoid pain. Using Kegel’s exercise while having sex may help make it more enjoyable for both partners especially in the initial phase after child birth, when the vagina is still lax.



Sir Ganga Ram Hospital

Rajendra Nagar

New Delhi, India-110060.

For appointments: +91-11-42254000, 42251800.

For tracking progress of IVF: +91-11-42251777 (9AM – 5 PM, +91-8375990881 (Emergency call only 5PM-9AM),

Email: [email protected]

Genesis Clinic

F-431

New Rajendra Nagar,

Landmark: Shankar Road Main Market, New Delhi -110060
Phone-: 011-28742454 , 28745692 , 28741270 , 45011438
Mob.: +91-8375990881(Emergency call only)

Email: [email protected]

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