Donate Now
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Post-Partum Vagina

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Post-Partum Vagina
katia11
Neophyte
Member # 48186

Icon 1 posted      Profile for katia11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi there! It's been a long time, but this is the only place I feel comfortable talking about something sexual.

I had a baby in Nov 2010 (he is doing great!) and my vagina has yet to go back to normal. Now all the blogs/websites/etc tell you that the vagina is soooo powerful and it should pretty much go back, but it hasn't. I feel gross and hate it. I know that having a vaginal birth gave my son lots of benefits, but the selfish part of me wishes I had a C-section. My son was less than 7 pounds. . .so it's not like he was huge.

I try to do Kegels. I really do. But I'll do one for two and then end up with alot of negative self talk (usually me telling myself I shouldn't bother, that I'm a whore. . .etc).

This is really affecting me emotionally. The GYN I saw (male) was really insensitive too, saying "Yeah, it probably won't go back, I can definitely tell you had a baby" etc. I was crying after he left the office. I am going to switch to a midwife- I'm told they are nicer.

Here's the thing. I had sex with my boyfriend for the first time last weekend (the complicated emotions can probably go in another post lol). It was nice, but it really did feel very loose and I pretended like I felt great when really I was very embarrassed of my size. He is about the same size as my ex-boyfriend (those are my only partners), so it isn't him, it's me.

I am having a really hard time dealing with this. It feels terrible, and I'm so embarrassed that I really don't want to have sex again, ever. I was so tight when my first boyfriend and I had sex that it took us six different days to get it in and even then I was sobbing, so clearly it used to be very tight. That was very important to me.

I have been delaying purchasing a menstrual cup because I'm embarrassed to get a size 2. Oh, and I pee a little when I sneeze, laugh, blow my nose hard. . .etc. Yippee.

I know my boyfriend doesn't know any better because he was a virgin as of last week. . .but I want it to be good for him. And I want it to be good for ME! I'm legitimately worried no one will want me now that my vagina is the way it is, and jerking off sucks when you are disappointed with your parts. Speaking of jerking off, my clitoris is in a different place too.

Sorry for all the rambling. I am really upset. I'm not really sure about counseling as I can never find anyone who really understands. But maybe you guys can help. Thank you so so much.

Posts: 29 | From: NY State | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
HI There,

I think first and foremost it will help you to get some caring, and helpful, health care.

It also might help to remember that the vagina is a muscle (a set of interconnected pelvic muscles, really) not an elastic. Vaginal birth is natural, yes, but it can be traumatic on those muscles. Think about any other muscle in the body that gets stretched beyond what it normally has to do; it usually hurts, and sometimes needs help to heal, right? While we're on the subject of muscles, just so you know a c-section might not have been a cakewalk either. It involves cutting through some pretty powerful muscles, which can also pose healing challenges.

Kegels can help with the mild incontinence (peeing when you sneeze, etc) that you describe.

Reading this, I'm seeing a pretty strong unhappiness with your body though, and I'm wondering if it's just about the changes in your vulva and vagina. Where do you think that harsh, critical, insulting self-talk when you start doing kegels comes from?

So, I think your first step, as I said above, is to find a health care provider you can share all your physical and emotional concerns with. What do you think of what I've said?

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katia11
Neophyte
Member # 48186

Icon 1 posted      Profile for katia11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Robin so much!

I can definitely do that [Smile] I asked some of my "crunchier" friends which midwives they used for regular womanly services and got lots of suggestions. So I will make phone calls sometime this week.

You are right, I am pretty unhappy with my body. I used to be in the 103-105 weight range and now it is 114. I am still breastfeeding though and know that many women have a hard time with those last 5-10 pounds because it is the body's way of protecting the baby from famine. I have recently started the couch to 5k program to see if that would help.

Also, my ex boyfriend used to cheat on me alot and watch alot of porn. I am ok with a partner watching porn occasionally, but his harddrive had thousands and thousands of pictures and videos and it made me feel very inferior. I also regret being sexually active with him- he told me we would be married and that's why I thought sex was ok. Clearly that didn't happen lol.

It feels SO much different that I feel very discouraged. I usually try to put a finger in there to make sure I'm using the right muscles and I can barely feel it. It feels like it has such a long way to go. Probably how someone feels if they need to write a huge paper or lose 100 pounds. Very daunting.

Lastly, it's not just about guys and whatnot. I had to give up alot by having my son. I have to commute an hour each way to school instead of living in a dorm, I can't be as involved as I would like to be, etc. If I can't do all the things a 22 year old "should" be doing, I'd like to look and feel 22. Having the Grand Canyon between my legs doesn't help lol.

Thanks again.

Posts: 29 | From: NY State | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You certainly have a lot of excellent midwives and women-centered healthcare options upsate!

You know, the mere fact of your increased age might be why you gained that (really insubstantial, honestly) amount of weight. Sure, being pregnant could have been part of it, too, but some of why it may not be coming off is simply that you're in your 20s now, not in your teens. It's normal, and usually healthy, really, for people to gain some weight after their teens. Does your general doctor have any concerns about your weight? Unless you are VERY short (like, under 5 feet), I can't imagine they would.

Weight loss rarely fixes body image issues. Instead, what more often happens is that people lose weight and just get new body image issues or find they're still dealing with the same ones. Body image problems come from our heads, not our bodies. Know what I mean?

One other thing I want to toss out is that a really negative self-image can also impact how excited we get sexually, which can mean those muscles are more passive. A feeling of "tightness" in the good way often has a lot to do with arousal, and if you have a bad body script going nonstop in your head, your arousal will be impacted. Not saying that's necessarily all that's going no here, but chances are, it's part of it.

Just out of curiosity: I wonder if you've been engaging in any masturbation where you are feeling positive about your body, maybe doing kegels throughout both to amp the feeling of masturbation and help with toning those muscles at the same time? Just a thought.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nodding...you've had some bad experiences and gone through a lot of changes.

I'm glad to hear you've gotten some recommendations from friends. Certainly someone being a midwife won't automatically make her caring and compassionate, but with personal recommendations you will likely find someone you mesh with.

I hear your desire to have your body be that of a young woman. The reality is that yor body has been changed by pregnancy and birth, in ways that a lot of your peers haven't experienced yet. That also doesn't mean that things can't be better for you than they are now. You mentioned the daunting challenges of writing a paper or losing 100 pounds. I'm wondering if you can liken this journey towards both healing and accepting your vaginal muscles and appearance to your journey through the couch-to-5k program?

You mentioned counselling above. Have you considered it as a way of checking in with someone about all these changes that have happened in your life? It sounds as if you thought things were gonig to be one way, and now they're very different. That can be a lot to handle.

As obvious as it may seem, I also just want to mention that not every twenty-two year old will have the same body. Vulvas and vaginas (just like any other body part) look different, are shaped differently, and behave differently. Lots of young people have pelvic health problems, previous injuries, and so on. Just a thought to chew on. [Smile]

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katia11
Neophyte
Member # 48186

Icon 1 posted      Profile for katia11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ok that's alot to respond to so I hope I get to everything. Thanks for the kind replies [Smile] Even though I am a little depressed hearing that I might not look how I'd like to [Frown]

I am pretty short- somewhere between 5"0 and 5"1. My mother has made lots of negative comments to me, which don't really help matters. Also, when I think back, when I was very skinny (I was 103 pounds when I was 4 months pregnant and didn't know it), that is when I felt good about myself. I can see that it may not make a difference though. I range in jean sizes from 2-6 depending on the brand just for an idea of size.

It definitely is harder to get turned on.

Masturbating, I have only really started doing in the past few months (breastfeeding killed my libido for about 15 months). I usually only touch my clitoris. I never really got into putting fingers in there before and now don't because it's just another reminder. That is a good idea though.

Healing and accepting. . .see I want to fight back! I don't think I'm there yet. Right now it sounds like accepting defeat.

I'm crying now because I'm just so frustrated. I asked him to pull out and he didn't because he was selfish.

And I know everyone is different. It's just. . .right when he broke up with me is when I was starting to feel confidant about my body (ie. not feeling as self concious wearing a strapless top or something). And that's when I got pregnant. It sucks that he gets off scot free (he doesn't pay child support because I chose not to list him on the birth certificate) and I am stuck like this. Having Connor has been very empowering and has shown that I can be a strong, so it's very frustrating. When I had the body, I didn't have the confidence. When I have the confidence (well, more than before), I don't have the body.

Counseling does sound like a good idea. I have a thousand and one things to do, but I'll put it on my list.

On a more practical note, how many Kegels should you aim for a day, and how long are you supposed to hold each rep for? I keep saying I'm going to try them in the car, since I don't have anything better to do.

Thanks so so so much. We aren't incredibly public about our relationship and I'm kind of embarrassed to talk about it to most people, so it really helps.

Posts: 29 | From: NY State | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, you don't have to insert your fingers to feel something from kegels with masturbation that only involves the external clitoris. Those exercises stimulate the internal portions of the clitoris, which feeds the external portions. Plus, they increase blood circulation throughout your pelvis and genitals which heightens sensitivity.

Really, even being your height, your weight is still VERY low. Again, have you taked to a general physical about your weight concerns? If you haven't, please do before you focus more on them, okay? Your health needs to come first, and I assure you, weight loss is not going to magically fix a negative body image. It almost never, ever does, even for people who lose 100s of pounds.

We've got so, so much study and data on this, on top of people's anecdotal stories. Unfortunately, some people just won't be convinced, which is one reason the diet industry is one of the richest there is: it not only doesn't usually do what it claims to do, it also doesn't usually make a dent in how people feel about themselves long-term.

And I think it's safe to say if your body image depends on being even thinner, chances are awfully good it's been based on some cultural beauty standard stuff. When we have positive body image, it isn't dependent on our body being a certain weight or size. And while we still may need time to adjust to the constant body changes that are a part of life, a positive body image will be flexible around those changes.

I'm hearing a lot here that your body image and general self-image are things you have needed help with that it doesn't sound like you've yet sought out. While taking care of your body in basic healthy ways -- eating healthfully, staying active -- is important, my feeling is you'd be better off investing extra energy in some counseling than in trying to lose weight. And that's a double-deal since you were in an abusive relationship, which undoubtedly hammered away at your self-esteem. You were ready to make time for weight loss stuff, how about you make counseling the same kind of priority you were going to make that?

There's no goal with kegels. They're just something you can do anytime you think to do them, and you hold for as long as you can and feels comfortable.

[ 06-12-2012, 02:05 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just to echo what Heather said...there's no goal with kegels. You can do them as many or as few times as feels comfortable. I was recently reminded by an educator that kegels aren't just about tensing the muscles, but also about consciously relaxing them. Again, the parallel to exercising other muscles in the body.

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katia11
Neophyte
Member # 48186

Icon 1 posted      Profile for katia11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Heather! Lots of good points.

In case you were wondering, I am not on any strict diet plan, but I am trying to eat healthy because of my son. And I started the running not only because of weight, but I am told that exercising actually helps you gain energy, which I lack greatly.

I talked to a nurse practitioner last June about my concerns, and she thought that I was depressed. She didn't say the weight was an issue or anything. At the time, Connor was under a year and I was more concerned about my milk supply. I didn't discuss my vagina then because I assumed it was still healing.

I'm really nervous about counseling, because I haven't really found anyone I mesh with. BUT I just sent a text to my friend who is a counselor asking if he knows any female counselors who are good. I'd rather start there than the phone book.

Thanks again!!! It feels so good to talk about it, even just online.

Posts: 29 | From: NY State | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
katia: have you by any chance connected with any local domestic violence services near you?

I ask because I think that might be the best avenue for you for counseling, and where you'd probably most likely be able to find not just low-cost or no-cost (which gawd knows matters when you're a single Mum) services, but also the kind of counselors I suspect would be a good fit for you.

I'd also suggest revisiting the idea of being depressed. And that too, FYI, comes with sexual side effects, which can include decreased libido and arousal, so something else that might be contributing here.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katia11
Neophyte
Member # 48186

Icon 1 posted      Profile for katia11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh I haven't even thought of that because I figured what happened to me what pretty minor compared to some women. That is a good idea.

I'm under my parents insurance still (until I'm 25 or so) and it is a pretty good plan, so cost isn't much of an issue.

I'm not sure about depression. I suppose considering everything that happened it is possible. I just know I felt alot better this semester than last. If anything it might be anxiety.

Posts: 29 | From: NY State | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There's really no comparing traumas here. After all, it's not like you would be impacted less by what you went through because someone else went through something you think is worse, you know?

But for sure, it sounds to me like it's past time to look into taking care of your mental health and getting qualified support, on a host of fronts.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katia11
Neophyte
Member # 48186

Icon 1 posted      Profile for katia11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm sorry it's taken so long [Frown] I am a terrible procrastinator and it's especially bad when it's something that makes me uncomfortable.
Posts: 29 | From: NY State | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey, you aren't accountable to me in this: this is about taking care of yourself and about what you need, not me. [Smile]

But for sure, avoidance is pretty much never helpful. It tends to only make things worse. And avoiding self-care is a particularly raw deal.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katia11
Neophyte
Member # 48186

Icon 1 posted      Profile for katia11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks so much [Smile]

And lol I hear all the time about "self care" and I always thought it was things like brushing your teeth. I didn't realize I was doing the same thing.

I'll definitely let you guys know how it goes.

Posts: 29 | From: NY State | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Brushing your teeth is taking care of yourself in a few ways, sure, but often when we say "self-care" in these kinds of contexts, we mean in all ways, including emotionally.

So, brushing your teeth is a kind of self-care. So is spending time doing things you like and energize you positively or you find relaxing. So is managing your mental health. So is setting healthy limits with other people so everyone can take care of themselves, etc.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3