Having children is a blessing and for some women a right of passage bringing them into womanhood. Sadly though, pregnancies put undeniable stress on the female body that can worsen with vaginal deliveries. This is made worse with multiple pregnancies; being over weight or unfit, large babies, instrument assisted deliveries and vaginal births. Women who have Caesareans are not immune to damage as much of the damage is from the pregnancy itself. The growing foetus puts pressure on the bladder and the urethra causing the angle between the bladder neck and the urethra to increase which in turn widens the bladder neck. There is also an increased mobility of the bladder due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. The muscles of the pelvic floor weaken and begin to sag downward resulting in a prolapse of pelvic organs and the vagina wall. During birth the vagina can sustain tears that require suturing and can result in painful scars. This is especially seen at the entrance of the vaginal and often rubs and re-tears during intercourse which can create pain. The tissue can be so stretched that it damages nerve endings and becomes lax. This can interfere with sexual stimulation as women often experience a dampened down physical response to vaginal sex after childbirth. Other women can experience both deep and superficial pain during sex (dyspareunia), which can ultimately affect her, and her partners sex life and relationship. Many women become depressed at these symptoms. In addition, after pregnancy a woman's heightened oestrogen levels suddenly drop, especially if lactating. This can lead to vaginal atrophy and a thinning of the vaginal wall, with less blood flow and elasticity.
Childbirth can thus lead to all the below symptoms:
- Vaginal wall laxity and prolapse
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal itch and irritability
- Recurrent vaginal infections
- Recurrent urinary symptoms of frequency, urgency and pain - stress incontinence (e.g. wee when sneeze)
- Recurrent urinary infections
- Deep and superficial pain on sex
- Loss of sexual sensitivity
- Scarring to vaginal walls
- Vaginal atrophy
Fortunately Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation can help with these symptoms.
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