Patryk Kosmider/Fotolia

Does Your Vagina Hurt After a C-Section? An OB-GYN Explains

Ad failed to load

There are many things to “recover” from after childbirth — whether you have a C-section or deliver vaginally. There are definitely pros and cons for each method of delivery, and both come with their own sets of recovery rules and pains. But is there any overlap? Does your vagina hurt after a C-section? I mean, you can expect your abdomen and incision to hurt enough for everyone, but bonus points if your vagina comes out unscathed, right?

Unfortunately, Dr. Jamil Abdur-Rahman, an OB-GYN and medical travel blogger along with his twin brother for TwinDoctorsTV, says it certainly is possible for your vagina to hurt, depending on the circumstances surrounding the C-section. “For example, if a patient has been laboring prior to a C-section, then she is likely to have post-operative vaginal pain. This is because during labor, with each labor contraction, the baby's head is thrust upon both the cervix and the vagina,” he explains to Romper. “Now, consider that during labor, the uterus can generate a force that is up to 100 Gs or 100 times that of gravity. So, if a 7 or 8-pound baby is being thrust upon the cervix and the vagina every two to three minutes with uterine contractions for an extended period of time, that is the equivalent to 700 or 800 pounds of weight being pressed upon the cervix and the vagina every two or three minutes for an extended period of time.” Well yikes, when you put it that way.

Ad failed to load

It also depends on how long you’re in labor prior to your C-section, according to Abdur-Rahman. “After all, if a woman has 700 or 800 pounds of weight being rhythmically applied to her cervix and vagina for 10 hours before having a C-section, she is more likely to have more vaginal pain than a woman who had the same weight being rhythmically applied to the cervix and the vagina for only one or two hours,” he explains.

Unfortunately, not only will you have some vaginal pain after a C-section, but also incision and pelvic pain within the first two or six weeks after a C-section. But Abdur-Rahman says that the pain is the most intense the first two or three days. “After the first couple of days, while some degree of post-op pain may be present for as long as six weeks, most people should notice that their pain is getting better and better each day." He notes that if your pain doesn't start getting better and better with each day after post-op day two, or if your pain gets worse, it could be evidence of a complication like a uterine or wound infection.

How long until you’re healed, both vaginally and otherwise, and able to move around comfortably and pick up your baby and other kids? “Most moms are up and about and walking the halls the day following their C-section, and are also able to pick up and hold their babies within two days of their C-section. Depending upon their pain tolerance however, some may require a little extra help, and if they do, that's both normal and OK,” Abdur-Rahman says. “In terms of moving around comfortably, most moms are able to get around with little more than mild discomfort within two weeks of their C-section." By the time six weeks has passed, the tissues that were cut during your C-section have "largely healed," he explains and "regained about 90 precent of their pre-surgical strength."

Ad failed to load

Apparently, none of the tissue will be back to their “pre-surgical strength” 100 percent, and there might be some mild discomfort, but you should be able to resume normal activities after six weeks.

Unfortunately, it looks like you may be coping with some vaginal pain even if you deliver your baby via C-section. Thankfully, you should be almost back to 100 percent six weeks after you deliver your baby, vaginally and in your pelvis and incision. Just be sure to listen to your body and monitor your pain levels — this is not the time to be a hero. If you don’t notice a change toward feeling better after a couple days, that should warrant a call to your doctor.

Ad failed to load

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

5 Parenting Habits That Increase Your Chances Of Successfully Potty-Training Your Child

From starting solids to learning to walk, every childhood milestone presents its own unique set of challenges — but this is especially true of potty training. Indeed, the very thought strikes fear into the heart of many a toddler parent, particularly…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Getting Pregnant Might Mean Losing The Plus-Size Body I Love

For the last two years, I haven’t been my body’s biggest champion. I’ve gained 50 pounds. The stress of helping a parent get sober, a house purchase, and a new job got the best of me. But now, at 36, with talks between my husband and I about having a…
By Loren Kleinman

7 Hilarious Differences Between Having A Baby In Your 20s Vs Your 30s

I was 24 when I had my daughter. And even though that pregnancy was neither expected nor pleasant, I was optimistic. Sure, I guess your 20s are "supposed" to be about finding yourself, finishing college, starting your career, and navigating less-than…
By Candace Ganger

Babies "R" Us Was The First Place I Went When I Found Out I Would Be A Mom

For years I struggled to have a baby, and the sight of toys and layettes made my heart hurt. For me, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us were a complete no-go zone, a reminder of everything I was missing out on. My mom would walk the long way around Target…
By Becky Bracken

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger