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An episiotomy is a surgical cut made between the vagina and rectum, to increase the size of the opening. They are carried out to prevent vaginal tears and to make childbirth easier although it is ironic that this method to prevent tears actually guarantees vaginal damage, and there are no indictions that delivery is easier with an episiotomy. Episiotomies are decreasing in popularity now, but around 40 percent of women delivering vaginally in the United States will still have one. What will sex be like after you have had an episiotomy?

After you have had an episiotomy, you will have to wait until it heals before resuming sexual intercourse. The incision will generally have healed within a four to six weeks, and you may also want to wait until your postpartum bleeding (lochia) stops before having sex again. The healing time depends on the type of sutures you received as well as your individual body.

Now, if you are about to give birth and expecting an episiotomy, you will be curious whether it can affect sex. Most women, once their stitches have dissolved and they are ready to make love, will encounter no problems. But episiotomies do carry risk, and beside the possibility of infection, there is also the chance that the cut will cause long-term sexual problems. Have you had an episiotomy and are you experiencing pain during sex, or at other times?

You may have scar tissue inside your vagina resulting from the incision, or the doctor may have stitched your wound shut too tightly. An episiotomy sometimes causes nerve damage, which can also lead to problems. If you recognize yourself in this, we advise you to talk to your family practitioner or OBGYN (not necessarily the same one who made the episiotomy, though you can certainly file a complaint if you deem it appropriate). Have the site examined, and discuss your options for fixing the problem.

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