Going Beyond Just Tightening And Toning
Moms worry about getting things back to normal "down there" after giving birth, but is cosmetic surgery for vaginas going too far?
Moms, let's face it — we're all at least just a little worried if things will be the same "down there" after having a baby. And yes, he is, too. That's why it's good to do Kegels and other postpartum exercises to tighten, tone and strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
Learn how to do Kegel exercises for new moms >>
Some moms take a drastic step further.
They opt for vaginal rejuvenation. It's not an exercise or some magical vagina fairy who waves her magic wand and gets things back to business. It's surgery. Can I get an "ouch?"
Dr. Roseline Dauphin-Baptiste is an OB-GYN who performs vaginal rejuvenations. She explains,
"Vaginal rejuvenation procedures aim at correcting the problem by tightening and repairing the damaged muscles... "
"Following vaginal births, a lot of women experience 'laxity' of the vaginal canal and perineal muscles which sustain a lot of stretching at the time of delivery of a baby's head. Those tissues lose their normal strength especially as women age which cause women to experience a decrease in vaginal sensation/gratification during lovemaking. Vaginal rejuvenation procedures aim at correcting the problem by tightening and repairing the damaged muscles returning them to normal."
Staci M. needed rectocele surgery — her rectum prolapsed into her vagina after a difficult labor — and vaginal rejuvenation was a "bonus" — her doctor asked if she wanted things tightened up, too. "She indicated that she would be tightening up the vaginal space and because of the way rectocele surgery is performed making small little drawstring 'purses' and then stretching the vaginal muscle across those it would definitely be like being 'revirginized.' "Needless to say my husband got a kick out of that," Staci said.
Is vaginal rejuvenation safe?
Not many studies have been done about vaginal rejuvenation. It's been reported between 2,140-5,200 women had procedures done over the past few years. In 2007, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) cautioned women about the validity and safety of the procedure.
More about ACOG's opinion that cosmetic vaginal procedures are not safe >>
"Women who are contemplating having laser vaginal rejuvenation might need a full physical exam, an EKG, chest X-ray and laboratory tests. Most women who are in good physical health could undergo these procedures," says Dauphin-Baptiste.
Is this fad really necessary?
"These are, for the most part, procedures that are performed because of an anatomical change in the perineal, vaginal tissues and the outer tissues," says Dauphin-Baptiste. "There could also be a perception problem which lowers a woman's self-esteem and hinders her in terms of her intimate relationships, correcting the problem can only bring about positive results in a woman's overall sense of well-being and therefore those procedures are not unnecessary."
Staci M. encourages other moms to "do it for yourself, not in the hopes of saving a relationship or starting a new one. Give yourself plenty of time to recover and rediscover your body — things will be different."
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