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Sunday
May192013

Oubli's Vaginal Tear

I was asked to share a different kind of birth scar story, different than the usual cesarean scar stories I share here. I welcomed her re-telling of her birth... and share it here with you all.

My Birth Scar

My pregnancy and birth were uneventful medically, textbook in every way - except the tear. In the standard lithotomy position in a hospital with a CNM guarding my perineum, my labia minora split horizontally in two as my child entered the world.

Cue the inept stitch work from a CNM who had too many patients and was in a huge hurry. Not enough stitches were used and days after I was discharge the too few that were there snapped while ambulating. Suffice it to say my labia didn't heal correctly, it didn't heal together, two pieces of flesh cleaving and fusing as it should have. A trip back to the CNM the next day and I was told, "There's nothing we can do, it's a purely cosmetic issue now - deal with it, you are wasting our time unless it's infected."

I hate my wound, for a long time I couldn't bear to look at it or touch it. It makes sex less enjoyable and sometimes uncomfortable (the skin flaps get grabbed by my DH and pulled inside during thrusting) and gynea exams just aren't as much fun as they used to be *snark*.

I call it a wound because I am still wounded by it, although it has healed. To add insult to injury I cannot get it repaired until after I am done child bearing, as plastic surgery on that delicate area has the same risks as Female Genital Mutilation.

Here's why I feel I need to be done childbearing beforehand - "[I]n nursing school I helped out at the delivery of a woman who'd had labiaplasty several years before, and holy shit. It sort of, um, shredded. One of the most horrific things I've seen in my career. It took them a really long time to sew everything back together, and I have a feeling she would have happily gone back to some slightly asymmetric or (gasp!) flappy labia if she could have."

http://jezebel.com/5402091/report-vaginal-plastic-surgery-has-same-risks-as-fgm

Other sources about vaginal rejuvenation or vaginoplasty, includes info about labiaplasties.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8352711.stm

http://www.acog.org/~/media/Committee%20Opinions/Committee%20on%20Gynecologic%20Practice/co378.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121129T0006283149

I fear that if I get it fixed before I am done child bearing it won't stretch properly, as scar tissue is inelastic and it may pop again creating a far more terrible tear in the same place. Even if I do not get it repaired I still worry about it tearing in the same place and becoming a vaginal wall tear. I never feared child birth before but this tear makes me rethink having more children.

4 years after the the initial tearing, it's hard to watch my birth video because of it, I resent my midwife for the lithotomy position, I resent my daughter (a bit) for causing it, I can't masturbate or have sex without touching/thinking about it (usually negatively), when I shave I have to be extra careful not to nick it as it protrudes further than the other side. Oh an did I mention that my stitches didn't completely dissolve, every few months I feel like I'm being stabbed from the inside out as bits of stitch work make their way to the surface and have to be delicately removed. I used to think my vulva was gorgeous and now it looks and feels sad all the time. My scar is still very much a wound that hasn't healed.

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Reader Comments (8)

thank you for sharing this... so sorry this happned to you... <3

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole yunker

Thank you for sharing your story. I received three stitches to one side with the birth of my first and a total of five stitches I each side with my second. I have never heard of this happening to any other woman until it happened to me. Mine did heal but being pregnant with my third and having a Home Birth this injury is the only thing I fear. Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone in having to deal with this. I have also looked into having my labia reduced because I have the same issues with sex and GYN exams. I really thought I was all alone.

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIsis

What a powerful post - it serves to remind me that when suturing we're not simply aiming to create haemostasis - but to get a good cosmetic result. Thank you for your bravery.

May 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterliz

Hi, just want to let you know that I had a minora tear as well. Of all the women I speak to, apparently it is unsual to tear there. I have felt all the same feelings as you mentioned. After my first child, my minora stitches came out so I had to heal and have it redone 6 months after. The doctor said it was plastic surgery worthy also at 2k. He was kind enough to do it in his office for me free but without general anesthesia. It was local freezing and very very painful but I got it done and was very satisfied. After my second child, I tore in the same place again, no worse off. I have just had it repaired again by the same doctor and I tell you, four days after the surgery, I couldn't wait to take my lady for a test drive. She was marvelous! Despit the excruciating pain, it is done and I feel beautiful and sexy and glad it is back together again. Not perfect as in pre-baby perfect but good enough for me to be satisfied. If only I could get rid of the flabby stomach and stretch marks, then it would be a true miracle!

May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAsha

I'm sorry she has such negative feelings...but after looking at the pics I'm like what the hell is the issue? She looks fine.

June 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterL/D nurse

I think your labia STILL look gorgeous! Just like the stretch marks on a belly, you have war wounds to remind you of your triumph. YOU made your baby and YOU pushed her out. Yes, it hurts sometimes...maybe you will come to learn when nasty weather is on its way?!? I am sorry that you had poor care from your CNM-That sucks, truly. You will know when the time is right to have it repaired.

July 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKittyKatNip

A very intimidating blog focusing on the risks involved with vaginal surgeries...

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley Rafter

Oh my gosh!! Thank you so much for posting this! You are not alone. I just gave birth 2 weeks ago am have the exact same tear as you :( I am absolutely disgusted by my tear. Yes, having my baby is worth it, but I my confidence has diminished in myself. I felt great in the hospital and thought my labia would heal normally... I was wrong. 2 days later, when I was released, my stitches popped. I tried to wait it out until the ob nurse came over a day later to check it out. She confirmed that the stitches had popped and reassured me that the dr would be able to put a few more stitches in it at my next appointment 4 days later at my baby's week appointment. 2 days later I was in so much pain from peeing on it and my stitches working there way out that I went to the ER. The ER said sorry there is nothing we can do now, it's too far healed. At the dr appointment he confirmed that it was too healed and to get it fixed I would need cosmetic surgery. :,( PLASTIC SURGERY?! I feel your pain. I honestly believe this wound is giving me postpartum depression. My dr told it it's just a battle scar from "war" (giving birth).. I wish I felt that light about it. I would love to talk to you personally about this. You should e-mail me!! I haven't had sex yet but I cry to my fiancé because I feel like I am physically unattractive now and I am scared he will feel differently now. You are so brave for posting pictures! Thanks again! chelziedanielle@gmail.com

March 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChelzie

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