With the many pains of pregnancy finally over, you are ready to focus on your baby and regain some sort of composure. However, your body may not let you do so that easily! Many moms experience perineal soreness, pain around the vagina and rectum, after giving birth. Perineal soreness is common, especially if you gave birth vaginally or if you had an episiotomy or vaginal tear during birth.

What causes perineal soreness

Perineal soreness is caused by the fact that you just passed a baby through the birth canal and out a very small opening, the vagina!

Important facts about perineal pain

If perineal pain is associated with a birth in which there was no vaginal tearing or episiotomy (an incision between the anus and vagina to help with birth), applying warm compresses or flushing warm water over the area after using the bathroom may help. If there was tearing or episiotomy that means you now have stitches in the perineal area, and those need to be cleaned thoroughly according to the doctor’s direction in order to prevent infection.

Treatment for perineal pain

Without stitches or open sores, pain should subside within a few days. Doctors will often leave mom with a squirt bottle of antiseptic to rinse the area after every bathroom break, just in case. Stitches and tears need to heal properly before the perineal pain will subside. This can take significantly longer and require additional use of antiseptics and gentle cleansing.

It is important not to touch the area to gauge pain. Touching just leads to more irritation and prolonged healing time. Heating pads and topical anesthetics can also help ease the pain.

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