Disclaimer: This post will be a bit graphic and discuss postpartum issues of a sexual nature. In an effort to keep it real about my issues with postpartum recovery, I’ve decided to blog about a very personal topic. I hope that this will help other women who may be in my situation.
Remember the post I did about the things no one tells you about postpartum? Well at the time of writing that post I had no idea that another issue was on the horizon. An issue that would end with me having outpatient surgery.
I did not plan on writing about this issue at all, but after one of my friends told me that this happens a lot more than I think, and a lot of women just deal with it instead of getting help I decided to go ahead and share. I am currently 11 weeks postpartum and I should have resumed my normal activities including sex at this point. Yea I know I’m supposed to be too exhausted to even think about sex, but honestly I’ve been ready to get back in the groove since about 5-6 weeks post. Baby S was sleeping for longer stretches and I’m a newlywed who misses the closeness and intimacy that comes with sex. Sure I was nervous about it hurting and the baby waking up, but it was time to cross that bridge.
Let’s back track a little. My doctor’s office does post partum exams at 4 weeks and with the doctor who delivered your baby. I went to my 4 week check up not really knowing what to expect, but wanting to discuss birth control options. I was weighed and found out that I lost all my baby weight… yay me! I then had my exam and the doctor mentioned that it looked like my stitch came out a little early and healed with a dimple. *insert confused face* She went on to say that it should not effect anything, but if I experience pain after attempting intercourse a few times to come back. At this point I should have asked more questions or had her draw me a picture, but I didn’t. I’m not entirely comfortable with her because the day she delivered my baby was the first time I met her, and I really didn’t think this would be a big deal in the future. She wrote me a prescription for the mini pill and cleared me to have sex, but suggested I wait another 2 weeks. No problem… Baby S was still waking up every 2 hours at night and I was exhausted. Plus, Mr. S told me he wanted to wait at least 8 weeks in order to let me properly heal and insure we wouldn’t end up with another baby. I didn’t really think he was serious, but yea he didn’t crack until about 7 weeks post.
Let’s fast forward to 7 weeks postpartum and the first time we tried to consummate our marriage again. Without being to graphic, we’re attempting to be intimate and we hit a snag. It was entirely too painful to even get him inside me. At this point Mr. S pulled out a mirror, in an effort to show me what he could see. Apparently that “dimple” the doctor talked about was really a small hole and a band of skin had grown in between the dimple and my vaginal opening. This skin made the actual hole for insertion incredibly small and the friction of trying to insert was causing pain. Mr. S nicknamed it a “do not enter sign”… I called it a built in chastity belt. Yes, we were joking around about it, but this was a big problem.
I decided to mention it to my sister-in-law (remember she’s on OB/GYN) the next time she came to see Baby S and see what we should do… yes this was AWKWARD but whatever we’re family now. Her first suggestion was that we try using more lube and actually attempt to complete the act, because the doctor will want to know I tried more than once. We took her advice and tried two more times (different positions)… still no luck and I actually ended up crying the second time. It was like being a virgin all over again, but my hymen was in the wrong place and just refused to break.
Back to the doctor I went. At first they wanted me to see the doctor who delivered the baby *insert hell naw face* but lucky for me she was booked for weeks. Instead, I saw the doctor who I originally wanted for my primary OB, and I had actually had an appointment with her when I was pregnant, so I felt comfortable. I went in and told her the problem. She did her exam and immediately saw the issue. She said we would schedule me for a longer appointment on a different day, and they would remove the skin in the office. She asked if I wanted to see my primary OB or the doctor who delivered the baby. Of course I wanted to see my primary OB… I made an appointment for the following week. Well I get there and Dr. K is examining me and says “Dr. D is optimistic if she thinks we can do this in the office.” *sigh* He explains that the amount of skin he needs to remove could potentially cause a lot of bleeding. They aren’t equipped to handle that in the office, and he would want me sleep during the procedure. This means I will have to have an outpatient surgery…
So, yesterday two weeks after my last in office doctor appointment and almost 10 weeks, 6 days after having Baby S, I had outpatient surgery to remove the “do not enter” sign. I have to take it easy for a few days and go back in 2 weeks for them to exam me again; and then give me the green light for sex. Just in time for Father’s Day… don’t worry that won’t be his only gift lol.
I shared all this in the hopes that other women who are experiencing this will know that sex should not permanently painful after pregnancy/giving birth, and if it is don’t be afraid to go to the doctor. My issue was on the outside, but I did some research and it looks like a lot of women experience scar tissue growing on the inside instead. I will keep you all posted about my recovery…
Has anyone been through something similar? What did you do? How did you cope?