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The Effects of Vaginal Childbirth

The male and female reproductive systems are responsible for bringing life into existence. Childbirth

However, is a naturally-occurring physiological process that is exclusive to the genetics of the female body.

Most healthy women under the age 35 do not usually require any surgical assistance with child delivery, but in some cases, natural birth may no longer be an option if it puts the mother and child at risk. If natural child birth is not a safe option for the mother and the baby, a C-section delivery is usually required. Caesarean sections are often employed in an emergency. However, some women may choose elective C-section as their preferred method of delivery. C- section delivery is an extensive abdominal surgery that requires downtime, causing a few weeks of limited activity for new moms as they take care of their newborn infant.

Vaginal birth also entails some risks, which can be managed and prevented if carried out safely and appropriately. Below are the common effects of vaginal child birth.

Perineal Tears, Also Known as Vaginal Tears

Vaginal Tears

A vaginal tear is a naturally-occurring injury that causes the perineum area to tear or “rip” during childbirth. The perineum area is the area between the vagina and rectum. There aren’t any specific methods of prevention for vaginal tears, as they are highly dependant on the mother’s vaginal canal being able to accommodate the infant’s head to pass through the vagina. Some women experience only stretching of their vaginal canal during natural child birth, but a tear is quite common. According to most gynecologists, first-time moms have a 95% chance of experiencing some form of tearing during vaginal delivery. In the case of complications where the vagina canal is not wide enough, an episiotomy procedure is commissioned to assist in vaginal delivery.

Episiotomy

An episiotomy is a surgically-assisted birth method where the gynaecologist makes an incision in the perineum to enlarge the vaginal opening during child birth. The incision is made in the muscular area between the vagina and anus to help open the vaginal opening just before delivery to allow the baby’s head to come through the vaginal canal. Episiotomy procedures are conditional and are not routinely required, as the procedure has potential risks that can further extend the recovery from vaginal childbirth.

Pelvic Floor Damage

Pelvic floor damage refers to the trauma that is caused to the group of muscles that are attached to the pelvis during vaginal child birth. Pelvic floor damage usually occurs during the actual process of giving birth. However, it can occur during pregnancy from the persistent and growing extra weight and subsequent pressure that is pressed upon the pelvic floor during the growing phases in pregnancy. The pelvic floor is a fundamental part of the functionality of urogenital organs affecting internal organs and the functionality for urinary and fecal incontinence. Pelvic floor damage can significantly affect sexual function in women and in men.

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Pelvic organ prolapse is a direct cause of damage to the pelvic floor

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is a direct cause of damage to the pelvic floor, whereby the supportive structures of the pelvic organs malfunction and, in severe cases, prolapse out of their anatomical position. Pelvic floor prolapse can psychologically and physiologically affect women, and the condition usually requires a surgical procedure to help restore the positioning of the pelvic floor and adjacent structures. Common repositioning of organs caused by pelvic floor prolapse include the bladder, uterus, and/or rectum to protrude into the vaginal canal or outside the vaginal opening in severe cases. Causes of pelvic organ prolapse are closely tied to the level of difficulty during childbirth for the mother. Assisted births with the use of forceps and prolonged pushing in the process of giving birth are the primary cause of pelvic organ prolapse. Nevertheless, other factors can play a role in this condition such as smoking, obesity, and heavy pregnancies in the case of twins or multiple pregnancies.

Chronic Perineal Or Vulvar Pain

Chronic perineal and vulvar pain is a condition where the mother experiences persistent pain after giving vaginal birth. Perineal and vulvar pain is primarily caused by the trauma to the areas during pregnancy and child birth. Common causes for chronic perineal or vulvar pain is nerve damage from the act of giving birth, the post-op symptoms of episiotomy, vulvar vestibulitis syndrome, or scar tissue from tears during delivery. The normal range of pain and downtime after childbirth is usually a few weeks. Any chronic pain that is present months after delivery should constitute a visit to your gynecologist or family practitioner to help diagnose and treat the perineal and/or vulvar pain. Chronic perineal or vulvar pain can negatively impact sexual gratification for women and their partner because of the discomfort it can produce during sexual intercourse.

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