One thing that no one prepared me for when I was pregnant was how, for so many women, pregnancy can put a real strain on your bladder – not just during pregnancy, but afterwards as well. I’ve had three natural births now, all with tearing to some degree. When I was giving birth to Ben, I ended up with a third-degree tear which meant I had to have an epidural to be stitched up. Despite all the pelvic floor exercises I did before, during and after the pregnancy, I am one of the many unfortunate ones to suffer from a weak bladder now. Whilst it sounds funny, ‘laughing until you pee yourself’ really isn’t all that funny, and it’s something no one should have to put up with.
Hartmann Direct have created this really useful infographic showing all the statistics related to pregnancy and incontinence, and some helpful tips on dealing with it.
Many women also experience painful sex (dyspareunia) six to seven weeks after childbirth and even six months after giving birth. The tearing caused by vaginal delivery and the stitching of that tear can leave scar tissue on the opening of the vagina. Scar tissue is less flexible than the original skin, fascia, and muscle tissue are.
The formation of scar tissue can cause the narrowing of the soft tissue around the entrance of the vagina and sometimes in the vaginal canal itself and make penetration painful. This can be remedied by using a vaginal dilator with dilation therapy to restore the vaginal opening.
Women should never have to bear with pain during sexual intimacy. Fortunately, there are treatments and therapies now that help address this health issue.