Pregnancy can cause many changes to a woman's body, many of which are more cosmetic than physically debilitating. But other aftereffects of pregnancy can cause permanent issues.
One common result of pregnancy and childbirth is damage to the perineum-the area between the vagina and anus. This tissue is often torn, or deliberately cut in an episiotomy procedure, during childbirth. While tears or episiotomies are repaired immediately after childbirth and usually heal well, sometimes tearing is extensive, resulting in permanent problems. Some difficulties that can result from damage to the perineum include:
- Vaginal looseness
- Painful intercourse
- Anal incontinence
- Less satisfying sexual experience
A perineoplasty is a surgical procedure that repairs damage to the perineum. Both upper layers of skin and lower muscle layers most often damaged during an episiotomy can be reconstructed and tightened. The vaginal opening is restored to its pre-pregnancy state, usually improving sexual function. It is important to distinguish a perineoplasty from a vaginoplasty, in which the entire vaginal canal (not just the opening) is reduced in caliber.
Perineoplasty can be performed under local or general anesthesia, and has a recovery time of as long as 6 weeks. During this time, you must avoid heavy lifting, strenuous activity, sexual intercourse, and tampon use. Adherence to your doctor's post-operative instructions and careful aftercare are very important to the long-term success of the procedure.
Unlike a vaginoplasty procedure, the perineoplasty only affects the surface of the perineum and the outer opening of the vagina. Looseness or discomfort deeper within the vagina will not be addressed with this procedure. Please contact our offices for a consultation to determine what procedure will most efficiently address your individual needs.
If damage to your perineum during childbirth has left you experiencing painful or unsatisfying intercourse, please don't hesitate to contact our offices in Chicago or Arlington Heights for a consultation. Dr. Otto J. Placik and his staff will be happy to answer all your questions and be sure you are comfortable with your decision concerning this procedure. A perineoplasty might be the answer to painful or uncomfortable issues that keep you from living life to the fullest.