After a C-section, you might not think it's necessary to take extra care of your vagina. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely true. Because it's not just the incision that's healing — vaginal bleeding and discomfort still occurs after a C-section. As a result, you may find yourself in situations where you experience unexpected pain, like using a tampon. So, why does it hurt to use tampons after a C-section and, more importantly, should you avoid tampons altogether?
Even if you didn’t deliver vaginally, you will have vaginal bleeding after a C-section, according to The Bump. That heavy bleeding, or lochia, is from the area of the uterus that was connected to the placenta during pregnancy, which results in a wound. According to Baby Center, you have an open wound inside where the placenta was attached to the uterine wall post C-section and inserting anything into your vagina can hurt.
As with any wound, this internal wound is vulnerable to infection, according to the aforementioned Baby Center article. So along with discomfort associated with tampons after a C-section, you can experience pain due to infection if you try to use them.
Although you may want to use a tampon for convenience, you're better off using heavy duty pads after a C-section. And you'll want to use them for a while. According to Healthline, it takes around six weeks for your cervix to close completely and to heal fully after a C-section. This means you'll want to use pads until you reach that six-week mark or get a clean bill of health from your doctor. You'll also need to avoid intercourse or any penetration of the vagina during the healing process, not just tampons.
To ensure that you stay safe, forgo discomfort, and avoid infection, you should refrain from using tampons after a C-section. Use pads in their place for the next few weeks after birth. It might not be your favorite, but remember that it's the safest and most comfortable route. Also keep in mind that it's temporary, and you can go back to tampons as soon as your doctor gives the OK.