Painful Episiotomy scar

Brianna - posted on 01/23/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I had a brutal episiotomy with my baby who is now 6 months old, and it still hurts really bad. I went to my gyno and she told me that the episiotomy scar is bad and that it should be cut out and reconstructed. I'm VERY reluctant as I will be having more children, and don't want to go through all of that now, just to have it happen all over agian later. Just wondering if anyone else still has pain at their episiotomy site and if so, what you have done to lessen the pain. It hurts quite a bit even to make love to my husband, so our sex life is horrible. I am very frusterated by this!

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Liesl - posted on 01/27/2009

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I am a physical therapist, and I know that there are some physical therapists who specialize in this type of scar mobilization. I have a friend who got into this type of PT because this type of thing happened to her. Ask your doctor about non surgical options, because having surgery will only create more scar tissue. It can't hurt to try other things first. Also, my friend had another child after that, refused the epiziotomy, and was fine after the second one. I hope this helps. My friend told me that she has had husbands call her to thank her because after treatment, they can have their sex life back....sometimes many years after the baby was born. Good luck.

Tanya - posted on 01/28/2009

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Well I was told the same thing, They sewed me up inside out.  I was referred to a gyno and he called it Vastibulitis.  And the cure for it is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy.  And if this didn't work then I would have to have surgery.  I didn't know this was even out there, so I'm guessing that you probably didn't either.  He garenteed me that it would change my life.  I'm going for my first treatment on Jan 29. So if this works, way better then surgery it my books.  I feel your pain, And hope this helps you!!!

Brianna - posted on 01/27/2009

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Thank you for everyone's input! Unfortunitly, I had a written birth plan that did not end up happening the way I wanted!! my home birth turned into hospital emergency because my baby turned on his side in the birth canal. He had both hands stuck over his face, my two episiotomy's were done one right after the other in an emergency to get my baby who's heart was not beating...out. Thankfully those two painful scars saved my baby's life and had I not had them, the pain i'd be experiencing now would be far worse. I had no choice over the eipis. Tearing was not an option :(



I will definitly try PT thank you Liesl. I have another apt in a few weeks. I will try anything.



I appreciate you ladies very very much!!



 

Brandy - posted on 01/27/2009

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My friend has to have the same thing done and they told her that any other deliveries she has will be done by c-section. From what her doctor told her, you should get it done because you could end up having problems in the future. They don't do episiotomies in Canada anymore because of these kind of complications. They found that natural tears heal better.

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Anonymous - posted on 06/13/2013

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Mine hurt for even years afterward...especially around my menstrual cycle time. I found that doing stretches (any ones you can think of that would work in the privacy of your own home) really helped and even eliminated the pain over time. But I was never told to have mine reconstructed either. I haven't had much of a problem since I've been doing stretches until I started the Depo shot. Now it is swollen and painful.

Melissa - posted on 01/28/2009

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I had to have reconstructive surgery on my episiotomy. Mine fell apart 2 days after I had my 13 year old. The stitches never held. I went in for my 8 week checkup and was told that I had to have surgery. I went in and had it done. It was a painful situation afterwards. It was hard for me to get up and around for a few days. I did have help though. 10 years later.... I got pregnant with my second child. I too was afraid of going through the same thing I had gone through with my oldest. I had a great doctor who helped me through giving birth to my youngest child. She massaged me during my contractions. This help a lot. What use to help with me and my scar was using lots of lube. Using ky jelly or even any of the new jells that are out now are great. Going easy was something we had to do as well. As time goes on it will get better.

Kyla - posted on 01/28/2009

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To the lady that said they do not do episiotomy's in Canada anymore you need to check that fact. My son is just over 4 months old and I had an episiotomy. The decision to have or not have an episiotomy in Canada is completely Dr. specific. Some prefer the natural tear ( my sister in law's Dr) and some prefer the episiotomy (Mine). I was given no advice when I was in the hospital about caring for my episiotomy. All they did was give me a bottle to rinse it and sent me home. I was in such bad pain in the couple days to follow that I cried a few times. I finally asked the health nurse what else I could be doing and she said to bleach out my tub really good to get rid of any bacteria and to have lots of epsom salt baths. I was having one every chance I got after I was told this. I healed rather quickly after i started with the baths as it kept any bacteria to a minimum and it allowed me to be more comfortable just moving around.

When it came to sex with my husband we tried at 6 weeks after birth and it still hurt so bad I cried. I was really hesitant to try again so I waited another 6 weeks and everything was fine. I'm sorry to hear you are having such a bad time with this. Good luck to you. I hope you are feeling better soon!

Sharon - posted on 01/28/2009

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It definitely depends where you live as to the support etc you get - I asked if I could have a caesarian with any future children after my first and I was told in my health authority area no - but in a neighbouring one yes - but in those days you couldn't choose!



I find it horrendous that this kind of pain and suffering can still occur for so long - my heart goes out to you - hope all turns out well and soon.

Jolene - posted on 01/27/2009

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I'm not sure if the discomfort may ever fully go away for some people. I'm sure everyone is different, but maybe you should just give it some more time. I would defiantly not feel comfortable getting surgery again. My mother-in-law had one when she was 20, shes 41 now and she says sometimes it still causes her some discomfort if her jeans rub on it the wrong way.

Kristine - posted on 01/27/2009

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I would highly recommended putting off anything surgical until you are done having children. When it comes to nerve damage the more you mess with it, the more scar tissue will build up, causing more pain.

Next time, do a little research into the discussion of episiotomy versus natural tearing. It may change your mind about which you would prefer to have in the future.

Sharon - posted on 01/27/2009

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Well as i wasn't looking! I can't be absolutelly sure about where but as far as I recall it was about the same place! & there only seems to be one scar (externally) that I can see!



I remember with my first delivery I joked with the houseman (woman) stitching me did she do quilting as a hobby!



I have to say that in hospital they weren't very sympathetic but my GPs (2 as I moved house in between times) and my husband were - even if my husband was frustrated he never pressured me - I just put pressure on myself into wanting sex, love and affection.  I even suggested that as I couldn't (wouldn't) have sex that he might consider going elsewhere - he said "why would I look elsewhere when I have someone I love and who has given me such a beautiful daughter!" - I think he would not remember saying that but I have never forgotten.



i felt that reconstructive surgery was pain with no gain (?!) but another episitomy with a (as it turned out beautiful baby boy - 14 years old now) was - the reason I haven't had more children is because I had several (5) miscarriages - not the episiotomy pain, scarring etc!



 



I hope that sharing my experience has made you feel that you are not alone - when it happened to me they made me feel like it had never happened before!

Brianna - posted on 01/24/2009

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Quoting Sharon:



18 years ago - I had a similar prob - my GP was very concerned - consultant suggested using increasing sizes of basically dildoes to insert and stretch the tissue - er thanks for that... no!  One GP did prescribe me some anaesthetic cream to use on the perineum prior to sex to help - which it did a bit - not very romantic though! Excuse me darling while I just slap this stuff on so I can't feel it!  I was also offered the chance of reconstruction - I decided to have another baby (which we wanted anyway:)) and if I needed cutting so be it - second baby arrived 3 years later (3 and a half from the birth of my first) after several miscarriages and yes I had to be cut again - ventuose  & forceps - episiotomy healed fine that time and all is OK now.  It will come right I am sure but it does take time and is absolutely awful to suffer the pain and distress - especially when no one seems to believe you.  Take heart & do what is right for you.



 



Sharon, did they cut you in the same spot as your first epis? Or did they have to cut in a different area?





 

Brianna - posted on 01/24/2009

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Thanks ladies! Glad ( that sounds bad actually) to hear I'm not the only one! Like you Jaime, I was split like a hot dog, My son turned in the birth canal and had his little fists caught over his face. His heart rate dropped and after 7 hours of contractions on top of one another, they gave me the first cut, and when he still didn't come, they have me another. The scar on my perinium has actually healed brilliantly. Its just the vaginal scar that hurts really bad. I might actually ask about the anaesthetic cream Sharon...as 'unsexy' as it may be...its worse when you've got tears in your eyes because it hurts too much! hehehe talk about a turn off.



I am very relieved to know that this may not be a problem in the future, maybe the next one will be smaller? ( under 8lbs 9oz...) and less turning in the vagina..."oh one can only hope :)



Thank you for reply guys! Appreciate it

Brandy-Lyn - posted on 01/24/2009

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Oh not fun. I had an episiotomy with my first, and even ater the cut I still tore...badly. It can take months to heal. My DH didn't touch me for 3 months. If he had I'd have ripped his arm off and beat him with it! I've had 3 more children since and didn't require episiotomies or stitches with them, the tearing from each was minor & healed quickly. I had my children very close together, you might want to do that & then get the reconstructive surgery done if it is still a problem. Hope that helps!

Sharon - posted on 01/24/2009

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18 years ago - I had a similar prob - my GP was very concerned - consultant suggested using increasing sizes of basically dildoes to insert and stretch the tissue - er thanks for that... no!  One GP did prescribe me some anaesthetic cream to use on the perineum prior to sex to help - which it did a bit - not very romantic though! Excuse me darling while I just slap this stuff on so I can't feel it!  I was also offered the chance of reconstruction - I decided to have another baby (which we wanted anyway:)) and if I needed cutting so be it - second baby arrived 3 years later (3 and a half from the birth of my first) after several miscarriages and yes I had to be cut again - ventuose  & forceps - episiotomy healed fine that time and all is OK now.  It will come right I am sure but it does take time and is absolutely awful to suffer the pain and distress - especially when no one seems to believe you.  Take heart & do what is right for you.

Tamar - posted on 01/24/2009

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I had a C section with my first and had a 'natural' delivery with my second. However his heart rate dropped drastically in the later stages of delivery and due to me being tired, I had an episiotomy and ventousse delivery. This was 20 months ago and I find that my scar is sometimes painful. Not an unbearable pain, but more like the kind of throbbing you get in your fingers when they're cold! I do find it tends to be when I am sexually aroused so have come to the conclusion it must be something to do with blood flow to scar tissue. I don't want to scare you into thinking that the pain will never go, but every body is different and we all heal differently. I agree that if you are not happy with your doctors advice and are worried go and get a second opinion - however don't do it just to hear what you want and not what is - if you get what I mean!

Good Luck.

Jaime - posted on 01/24/2009

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Oh, that is awful! I had an episiotomy with my first. Not to be gross, but I was cut A-Z as she was in distress and they needed to get her out fast. Needless to say it was an experience/pain that I will never forget!!! Luckily, she came out just fine. I remember being really sore for a month or so, but not for 6 mo. Have you gone to get a second opinion? Maybe you didn't fully heal????

As far as your other concern-I was terrified that I would need another episiotomy with my second since I already had one with my first. As it turns out my doc (before delivery) said that having an episiotomy with my first wouldn't determine I would need one for my second. I was skeptical and didn't really believe her. When I delivered my second I was shocked as she was right--I didn't need one with my second. I hope that is somewhat reassuring. Good luck! I feel for you!

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