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Condition — genitals

Scars & Tears After Childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth is an amazing event for a woman and her partner. The female body is ideally formed to enable the growth of the baby, changing and adapting itself accordingly. When the time comes for the baby to be born, the woman’s body does what is necessary to accommodate his or her arrival. As well as water’s breaking and contractions of the womb, labour stimulates the opening of the cervix, dilating to a size that is ideal for the baby’s head to pass through. 

Although the opening of the vagina often stretches enough to allow for the size of the baby, in some cases the perineum (the section of skin that is located between the vagina and the anus) can tear. This is more likely to happen if the baby is born quickly or if forceps or ventouse (vacuum) is needed to aid the birth. In some cases during childbirth, the doctor or midwife may perform an episiotomy. This small procedure involves making a purposeful cut in this piece of skin and allows for the opening of the vagina to become wider.  

A cut or tear during childbirth is quite common – affecting around 9 out of 10 first-time births, and stitches will be required to repair the wound. A cut or tear to the perineum will most certainly lead to scarring, which for many women will go unnoticed.

This wound usually heals effectively on its own, however painkillers will be needed to help manage pain and discomfort. The woman will also need to look out for signs of infection and be careful when considering resuming sexual activity. In cases where scarring is uncomfortable, a consultation with the experts at Reshape & Restore can help to provide a solution for reducing the thickness of the scar, creating skin and tissue that is softer and more supple.

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