Tell me mama when was the last time you took a look down there?
Have you ever? Are you looking after her?
Understanding what is normal for your vagina and what’s not, is so important and is something that has unfortunately become almost too taboo to discuss. Our vagina’s have such a huge impact on our quality of life as a woman and you deserve a healthy functional vagina mama…
But what does that mean?
Well we aren’t just talking mama’s here, all women need to take care of theirs but the miracle of pregnancy and birth, whilst an incredible process, it can really take its toll on the dear old vagina.
There are a few key areas that I want to cover with you today that are often overlooked, ignored or just unknown (and hey we don’t know, what we don’t know… until now)
1 – Your Pelvic Floor
1 in 3 women who have babies will develop pelvic floor dysfunction and by 65 years of age statistics show 50% of women suffer from incontinence. Umm what, that is crazy!
So what is the pelvic floor? Well your pelvic floor consists of three layers of muscle as well as ligaments and connective tissue, which lines the bottom of the pelvis acting as a hammock/floor. It stretches from the pubic bone in the front, to the sacrum and coccyx at the back. The main muscle of the pelvic floor, the pubococcygeus lies in a figure of eight around the openings of the urethra, the vagina, and the rectum and provides sphincter (& urine) control, so we don’t pee or poo our pants. A woman’s pelvic floor muscles also support her bladder, uterus and bowel (colon). It’s a super important part of our body.
Some common symptoms of a dysfunction pelvic floor:
- Urinary & Faecal Incontinence
- Back, Pelvic & Hip Pain
- Painful Intercourse
- Constipation or Bowel Strains
Unfortunately somewhere along the line someone told us that;
“squeezing your vagina in the car whilst waiting at traffic lights, was doing your kegals”
that however is not a correct pelvic floor contraction and is actually not doing much at all, sorry ladies. A
proper contraction requires you to engage the urethra, vagina and anus, and then lift them upward towards you belly button (put simply).
Seeking professional help and learning how to perform correct pelvic floor contractions along with having regular check-ups with a women’s health physiotherapist during pregnancy and postpartum
is vital in a healthy pelvic floor, prevention and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction and prolapse. If you haven’t please seek one out today.
2 – Say NO MORE to Painful Intercourse
Finding the energy and the time for sex can be difficult in itself especially once kids arrive but it can become exceptionally difficult if it’s also painful. Vagina or vulva pain during or post intercourse
should never be dismissed, and sex should never feel painful. Studies have reported that one in five women can experience pain with sex at some point in their lifetime (this applies to women who haven’t had babies also).
Painful sex often goes untreated as many women feel to uncomfortable or embarrassed to seek help for it. Unfortunately for those who do, it is also
often not accurately diagnosed and then goes untreated (often for far to long). There can be many different causes of the pain and if you are clear of
infection or undiagnosable by your GP, but still experiencing pain, then seeking a pelvic floor check by a women’s health physiotherapist should be your next stop. The pelvic floor may be overactive, have tight tissues and irritated nerves which could be the source of your pain, so it is worth having checked.
Poor wound healing can also be a cause of pain. A client of mine suffered with a strong stabbing pain from her healed episiotomy scar, every time she had intercourse after her first child. This pain went on for over 2 years and in that time they were also trying for baby number 2 (so sex couldn’t just be avoided). She never sought help partially from embarrassment and also because she just thought that it must be normal after having a child. This
story is unfortunately one that is shared by many women, but it does not have to be and sex should never be painful and there are solutions.
3 – Vagina Farts – AKA Queefing
Okay super embarrassing, instant red face moment
am I right?
No matter how long you have been with your partner for, when it happens it makes you want to run and hide. And it’s not just in the bedroom that this embarrassing expulsion or air occurs, it happens in yoga, running even just moving around in your daily life can bring it out. Now whilst super common after babies it is NOT normal and is not something you should just accept as normal life now that you’re a mama.
So what’s the cause? Well usually it’s the pelvic
floor. The pelvic floor muscles are to weak, so they let the air in and then also because they are weak they let the air back out again. A pelvic floor specialist can help you with this (women’s health physiotherapist) and you can start as early as 4-6 weeks postpartum.
So to sum up the pelvic floor plays a huge part in the overall function and use of your vagina and can be the culprit of a lot of vaginal issues. None of the issues above are normal, common yes but not normal and just because you’re a mama now doesn’t mean you need to suffer with these conditions, they aren’t a mama badge, but they are things you can fix to improve your mama quality of life.
Written By Tara Thompson