9 Things People Need To Stop Saying About Postpartum Vaginas
When I was pregnant with my first child, I worked for a reproductive health provider. In other words, I talked about vaginas every day and with a ton of people who were literally vagina experts. As my due date approached, I was pretty nervous about what childbirth might do to my poor vagina. So, I asked a ton of questions and did some pretty weird sh*t to ensure that my vagina would make it through childbirth relatively unscathed. And it did. As a result, I learned there are things people need to stop saying about postpartum vaginas, because they are absolutely not true, they're sexist, they're rude, and they totally ignore the fact that vaginas are seriously amazing.
I, for one, am quick to tell you that my vagina is seriously badass. Not only has she (yes, of course my vagina is a "she") given me a ton of mind-blowing orgasms and served as a pathway for me to get pregnant, but she's helped me bring three beautiful babies into the world. She is strong and resilient, and having babies didn't change that. I love my vagina, and after I gave her time to heal after each of my babies was born, she's only grown stronger.
Now, I am not saying that vaginal childbirth doesn't change your pleasure purse. I had some minor vaginal and perineal tearing during childbirth, some people get episiotomies that require stitches, and others have vaginal prolapse and pelvic floor dysfunction that really can impact their lives (not to mention their sex lives). What I am saying, however, is that postpartum vaginas are still amazing and deserve some love (literally and figuratively speaking) no matter what they endure during labor and delivery. So, with that in mind, here are some of the things I'm tired of hearing about this truly incredible body part:
They're Too "Loose"
Loose vaginas are not a thing, and comments about the size of someone's reproductive anatomy are totally uncool (not to mention, creepy). The vagina is pretty amazing, you guys. It can expand, contract, and has incredible powers of elasticity.
I am not saying that some people don't feel different after vaginal childbirth, but honestly, I've had three vaginal deliveries and my vagina feels about the same as it did before I had children. Besides, it's totally sexist to think it's OK to make size-related comments about vaginas, but not to make comments about penis size. I think both are terrible, but this is misogyny, no matter how you look at it.
I personally think my reproductive anatomy is beautiful. For the record, the external part that you see is called the vulva, not the vagina, so unless you are using a scope or a speculum, you probably actually haven't even seen a vagina.
Regardless, my vagina and vulva are both amazing, including their tears, varicose veins, and pubic hair, and anyone who thinks it's ugly should probably go look at a few pictures of penises. While it's all relative, I believe, by comparison, penises make vulvas look like a Georgia O'Keefe painting.
They Will Ruin Your Sex Life
I actually love postpartum sex more than the sex I had before I experienced a vaginal delivery. I loved sex before, you guys, so that is seriously saying a lot. While everyone's personal experience varies, vaginal birth doesn't have to mean your sex life is over. If you do have issues after delivery, and want to have satisfying sex again, get some help from a medical provider. For real, guys. You deserve to have amazing sex.
If a person truly believes all postpartum vaginas are "gross," the problem lies with the person who doesn't want to get with someone who has a postpartum vagina, not the vagina bearer or the vagina itself. Sure, we all have our preferences when it comes to sex, but the idea that a postpartum vagina is undesirable has less to do with those preferences (for the most part) and most to do with the misogynistic belief that a woman is "ruined" the moment she has a child.
So, you know, while you are surely entitled to your likes and dislikes, in my opinion, if you're not having sex with a postpartum vagina you're missing out.
I admit, it's weird to think about sex tunnels and baby canals being the same thing. However, that just proves how amazing and versatile the human body can be. Vaginas are amazing.
They Feel Bad
When my first husband remarked about my postpartum vagina not feeling good, he learned the hard way that comments like that made me not want to have sex with him. My vagina's fine, ya'll.
They're Too Dry
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make things a little drier down there. If you think your or someone else's postpartum vagina is too dry, you should probably invest in some lube and/or add more foreplay to your repertoire. Seriously, you probably should do these things anyway and regardless of whether or not you (or your partner) is postpartum. Lube. Foreplay. Trust me.
They Take Too Long To Heal After Childbirth
You are literally talking about someone recovering from growing a human inside their body, then pushing that human out of their body. They, and their vaginas, deserve to take all the time they need to heal without hearing what you think about it.
They Need Extra Stitches To Tighten Up
I honestly thought that providers recommending extra stitches "for his pleasure" was an urban legend, until it totally happened to me. The on-call midwife at my second child's birth joked that while I hadn't torn, she could add a "husband stitch," anyway. There are so many things wrong with this joke that I literally can't even. She's lucky I was still numb from my epidural, or I might have kicked her in the face (or kicked my now ex-husband for laughing).
I ended up asking her to explain why that was funny, because it so totally was not. Postpartum vaginas (hell, any vagina) doesn't exist solely for the pleasure of men, or anyone else, and to assume they need to "bounce back" quickly for the sake of someone else is to downplay just how truly incredible vaginas are.