The safe delivery of a healthy baby is the obvious goal for parents in childbirth. The health and wellbeing of the mother through pregnancy is also vital and this is monitored along with the baby’s with antenatal care. When it comes to delivery in natural childbirth however, even though baby is delivered safe and well and mum’s generally OK, we know from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists figures that 85% of mums who have a vaginal birth suffer some degree of perineal trauma. For many women this will take the form of some relatively small amounts of tissue damage mainly caused by the stretching of tissue and muscle as the baby was delivered. For other women however the damage to perineal muscle, nerves and tissue can be more severe and can leave them with some very unpleasant symptoms. Unless the mother finds effective ways to manage these symptoms, or chooses an option such as corrective surgery the symptoms simply persist. Sometimes these symptoms can have a very negative effect on the quality of the sufferer’s life and their relationships with their partners.
The types of symptoms associated with trauma injuries to the mother in natural childbirth include:
- Incontinence and other urinary symptoms
- Recurrent UTI and interstitial cystitis
- A lump or a dragging pain
- Solid stool
- Problems with straining or constipation
- The need for perineal support during defecation
- Feeling open and experiencing with no frictional benefit or intimacy with sexual intercourse.
Women often find it difficult to talk about some of these symptoms and the psychological, emotional and social problems that can follow. Many women in this situation can also worry that they are unable to satisfy their partner and this can lead to stress and relationship problems.
There are several different surgical options to correct this kind of damage in many cases dramatically improve things.
Perineal Refashioning – Where episiotomy or the repair of a tear in the area between the vagina and the anus has caused disfiguring, a refashioning operation can improve the appearance of the perineum area. This can also help to restore a woman’s confidence and this in turn can help to improve her libido.
Vaginal Reconstruction – Natural childbirth can result in the loosening and loss of tone in vaginal muscle. This can cause lack of friction in intercourse which can affect sexual enjoyment and libido. Reconstructive surgery can bring back the internal shape and structure essentially bringing the vagina back to how it was prior to pregnancy. This can also be carried out at the same time as perineal refashioning.
Vaginal Tightening & Pelvic Floor Repair and Reconstruction – My method of vaginal tightening involves rebuilding the perineum i.e. the area where the muscles meet at the entrance to the vagina. This is the area where the muscles have been overstretched by the baby’s head during birth. The results of this surgery can improve yours and your partner’s full sexual enjoyment. This surgery can be carried out at the same time as labial surgery.