If you received a small incision in your perineum while giving birth, this procedure is called an episiotomy. It is sometimes necessary in order to make more room for your baby during delivery. While it isn’t performed as often as it once was, some women do still get them. It is typically done if you have been pushing for several hours and the physician wants to avoid a more severe tear. Unfortunately, there are some issues associated with episiotomies.

Episiotomy Issues You May Experience
The first type of issue you can expect after having an episiotomy is pain and discomfort. This is because the doctor made an incision in a very delicate part of your body, between your vagina and anus, that’s chock-full of tiny nerve endings. Because of the location, it will cause you discomfort when you use the bathroom. There are also reported issues with bowel and bladder control for more persistent incisions. Some women heal quickly, while others take several weeks. If you aren’t careful, an episiotomy has the potential to tear or bleed, so follow proper aftercare guidelines.

How to Care For Your Episiotomy
There are several ways to help soothe your incision while it is healing and improve the healing process. If it is burning or you are in a lot of pain, cool it with a soft ice pack. But do so very carefully and place the ice gently.

You should also keep it clean. Don’t rub the area, but use a squirt bottle to rinse the area with water. You should do this after every time you use the bathroom. If you experience burning upon urination, pour warm water over the area as you’re urinating. As you have a bowel movement, press a clean pad on the wound area gently.

For a more severe incision, you may need to ask for maxi pads that have cold packs built inside them. Sitz baths that are placed on the toilet can also help tremendously with the pain. Be sure not to have postpartum intercourse for at least 6 weeks. Just sitting on the toilet can sometimes be painful, particularly the first few days after delivery. Remember to sit slowly and gently, and use a padded toilet seat or ring if you need it.

An episiotomy is a small incision, but it sometimes feels like a major wound because of the location. In most cases, it will heal nicely on its own and the discomfort is gone after the first week. However, if it becomes hot, extremely painful or swollen, contact your doctor.

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