'I've been bungee jumping but this scared me more' - Mum opens up on experience of painful sex after childbirth
A mum of two has opened up about her struggle to have pain-free sex after the birth of her first baby in an effort to raise awareness of the difficulties some mothers can face in silence.
Blogger Zoe George, from Australia, revealed that the difficult forceps birth of her first baby left her vagina "broken" and that when she first tried to have sex again, six months later, it was a "nightmare".
“It took this long before my husband even dared to bring it up,” she wrote on her blog, The Subtle Mummy, adding, “I was petrified. I have been bungee jumping before and the thought of having sex again scared me more.”
Like many women she struggled on in silence (for another six months) before visiting her gynaecologist, who revealed that the pain was related to scarring from the stitches she received after the birth.
“I could either have surgery to fix it or 'bear through it' until we conceived and then 'hope the next baby tears the same spot so that it can be re-stitched more carefully," wrote Zoe.
“I decided to give the latter option a go for one more month, and thankfully it worked.”
However, Zoe also had to deal with vaginismus, which is an involuntary reflex of the muscles surrounding the entrance to the vagina. It can make penetration very painful and can have a physical or psychological cause.
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For Zoe physiotherapy proved helpful although she says she has a "long way to go" before she is totally comfortable.
“I have been embarrassed to write this story for a while, but every time I meet someone in person and tell them they are surprised and feel really terrible for me that I went through it,” she wrote.
“I am mortified at the thought of my family reading it, but it’s all for the greater good, I say.”
Zoe is now mum to Ari (3) and Ambrosia (18 months).