The pelvis contains various muscle and ligament structures, forming the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor houses the bladder and uterus, which may move around in the pelvis, depending on the health of the muscles and ligaments supporting them.
During pregnancy, the muscles and ligaments in the pelvic floor stretch and accommodate the growing fetus. After the delivery of the child, the pelvic floor needs to heal and return to normal.
C-section births require the doctor to cut deep into these muscle tissues. It may take up to a year to recover from the symptoms of pain and discomfort associated with the procedure.
The muscles in the vaginal wall are also highly resilient tissues. During natural childbirth, the vaginal canal dilates, and the perineum (the area between the vagina and the anus) may stretch or tear during the delivery.
So, what helps tighten the vagina and return it to normal after giving birth? If you underwent a natural delivery, then the first thing you need to do is rest. It takes weeks to heal the damage and inflammation of the vaginal canal and the pelvic floor.
You'll experience heavy discharge over the first ten days as the lochia expels itself through the vagina. Some women also report bleeding after four to six weeks as the uterine scab dislodges and discharges through the vagina.
Postpartum Changes in Your Vagina
Estrogen is the primary female hormone. During pregnancy, the body elevates the quantity of estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen plays a significant role in relaxing the pelvic region in the weeks leading to the child's delivery.
Elevated estrogen causes the muscles in the pelvis to relax, allowing the hips to open in preparation for a natural delivery. The stretching of the hips, pelvis, and the vaginal canal is different from person to person.
The size of the baby plays a significant role in the damage the child does to the vagina and perineum during the delivery.
Size of the baby- A larger baby means your vagina stretches more, and this also increases the chances of vaginal and perineal tears. The average size of a baby's head is 11.4-cm, while the average size of a woman's vaginal opening is between 2.1 to 3.5 cm. It doesn't take a math genius to figure out that the vagina will have to stretch up to five to six times its size to accommodate your baby's delivery.
That's a severe amount of trauma the vaginal canal needs to endure during the delivery. Your genetics play a role in how your body handles the delivery and recovery rate after birth.
Other factors that determine the extent of the damage to the vaginal canal include if forceps or vacuum extraction were necessary. Previous childbirth also plays a role in the flexibility of the pelvic floor and the vaginal canal.
Does Age Matter?
Your age at the time of the delivery plays a significant role in the damage done to your pelvic floor and vaginal muscles. Age also determines your rate of healing in the postpartum period. Having a baby through natural childbirth in your late 30s or early 40s results in significant stretching of muscle and ligament structures – and there's a chance they might not fully recover from the effects of the delivery.
Loosening of the vaginal and pelvic floor muscles is frequent in women who give birth later in life. Prolapsing can also occur when the uterus and bladder "drop" inside the pelvic floor. Prolapse can cause other issues like incontinence.
Will Your Vagina Ever Be the Same Again After the Delivery?
Technically, no. Your uterus shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size by the ten to 12-week mark. If you're younger than 30, a natural birth stretches the vaginal canal, but it's possible to get it close to back to normal by the end of 90-days.
Women over the age of 35 won't have the same recovery response. As we get closer to our forties, our protein synthesis begins to slow. That means that we put the brakes on producing collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the human body, and a building block of cells necessary to restore the elasticity and resilience of the vaginal walls.
In the days after the birth, you'll feel like your vagina is loose and "open." That feeling will subside more each day through the "postpartum" period. The first six weeks are the most critical in treating the vagina's recovery from birth.
What to Expect in the Postpartum Period?
The delivery may result in the splitting of the perineum area between the vagina and anus. This damage requires vaginal reconstruction after the birth and careful attention to infection prevention in the first 72-hours after birth.
When you're using the bathroom, make sure you take along your spray bottle to wash down the injury site. Your doctor will ask you to take your temperature up to 4-times a day in the first few days to ensure there is no infection.
Red Light Therapy Recovery - What to use to tighten your vagina?
After you return home and reach the four to six-week mark, you can begin to use red light therapy to assist your healing. You insert a red light device into your vagina, and the LEDs at the front of the tool shine red light in wavelengths of 610nm to 700nm (nowhere near UV light wavelengths) directly into your vaginal and cervical tissues.
Red light stimulates the healing process, helping to accelerate the vaginal rejuvenation process. RLT helps to elevate your body's natural production of collagen, speeding up healing in geriatric mothers in their 40s.
With 10 to 12 minutes of using a MyElleVibe device, you can see lasting results, fast-tracking your progress back to a healthy vagina.