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Thank you for this, it is very interesting. I don't understand the "falling" part, but I've had a lot of pain, it's nice to see I'm not alone in this.

Cat, Galloping

Gah. This is why I scheduled a c-section.

However, after many many years of vulvadynia, I have a certain amount of experience in this area. I do recommend finding a specialist and keep trying new doctors if that doesn't help. I actually saw a specialist in NYC and I'm kind of mad at myself for sticking with her for so long when she wasn't helping.

My situation is different from the questioner's, but I'll throw this out there in case others have this. I had pain at penetration, not during, and then a HUGE amount of pain afterwards.

After my miscarriage, when we were waiting to try again, we used condoms for the first time and all of that afterwards pain went away. My theory is that I was being rubbed kind of raw and the condom prevents semen from irritating these "wounds".

While condoms aren't ideal for my husband, he certainly prefers them to hurting me (being afraid of causing or having pain is the least sexy thing I can think of). I wonder if I was the only married pregnant woman on the planet buying condoms?


I think the best piece of advice I can reiterate is to keep seeking out help if it doesn't feel right. I couldn't use the restroom without pain for 6 months and it was about a year before sex felt okay.

I had a preciptious birth with my daughter (3 pushes). I had planned an unmedicated delivery and had early labor for a long time, but the end was very fast. It was just my husband, my mother and the nurse who was across the room as my daughter was born.

I had some severe tearing and a hematoma - it was bad. The worst, beyond the physical pain, was my OB not really believing it was "that bad", not offering any kind of pain relief/suggestions until 12 weeks postpartum and telling me that "this is what you get for having an unmedicated, uncontrolled delivery". (yes, I switched OBs)

I went to another OB who was more helpful and less judgmental who helped me with the more immediate issues of healing and was referred to a urogynocologist to assess structural issues (no surgery necessary at this point).

I had my second six months ago and when my water broke, I experienced some major anxiety as the first experience and the aftermath came flooding back in that moment. I had another unmedicated delivery and while it went fast again, it wasn't nearly as fast as the first time and I had only one small tear.

I really feel for the writer of this question, and anyone else in a similar situation, but I did finally get to a point where I was ready to do it again. The recovery the second time was amazingly easy comparatively.


My dr and nurses were great but my labor was difficult because the baby was sunny-side-up. I tore both ways after several hours of pushing. It's now 4 months later and I have a lot of pain during sex. It feels like I am tight and hard...does that make sense? I have problems with leaking as well but I do not experience pain outside of sex. I'm desperate to have this go away.


I had a fast delivery and minimal tearing, but sex was excrutiating for months. We tried tons of lube, different positions with no improvement. I went to the doctor and she said that the vaginal lining gets sloughed off and is maintained in a quasi-menopausal state while breast feeding. Estrogen pills (Vagifem) inserted vaginally helped somewhat, but the real trick has been time. Once I started menstruating again about 8-9 months out, sex is SOOOO much better.


Hi, I'm the reader who asked the question. It is actually very useful to know this is a somewhat uncommon issue--I thought everybody was going through this but nobody was talking about it! I had also never heard of urogynecologists before. There are several of them in my area so I'll definitely look into seeing one of them.

My OB did mention surgery as an option, but suggested that I wait until I'm finished having children before I have it done. In the meantime, more Kegels!


I had a super-fast delivery (45 mins of hard labor) with ugly tearing, and while nothing feels loose, had no problems going to the bathroom and the soreness vanished in a few weeks, intercourse is still excruciating. Yes, I lubricate. But still. I've wondered about bringing it up with my doctor, except at 33 weeks I probably should have other things on my mind...But I wonder if there's something they could look at/fix when they're sewing me up this time.


Reading cmm's comment about I wonder if being pregnant again so soon had sthg to do with it. I breastfed my daughter until she was 4 months, and got pregnant again on the fifth. I wonder if it's that all sorts of hormonal nonesense is going around down there...

Cat, Galloping

Menita, you should definitely mention it to your doctor. Bingo's birth might be a good opportunity for them to do some clean-up down there if, say, there's scar tissue. Maybe not, but it can't hurt to ask.


moxie you're brilliant. what a great post. thank you so much for putting this information out there in such a useful way!


Thanks for broaching this tricky (or should I say 'trickly'?) subject. I gave birth 12 weeks ago, with a long prelabour, over 2 hours of pushing, forceps and a 2nd degree tear. During the 2nd stage of labour I could feel my pelvic floor getting progressively weaker and weaker and I was urinating with each push (sorry TMI). Since then I've had the pain on intercourse and a fair degree of urinary incontinence. None of my friends, sisters or my mum have had this problem after their deliveries (or they're not fessing up!) The maternal and child health service (a free service here in Australia) referred me to a Physiotherapist, who could only suggest just your garden variety, every day kegel exercises. Does any one know where to find out about some more 'aggressive' exercise? I think its time to pull out the big guns!


I really didn't have pain-free intercourse until about 9 months. I had a 2nd degree tear and things just didn't feel right, or downright hurt, lube or not, for a long time. I think what's difficult is the random cleared-to-have-intercourse-at-3-months idea. Turns out lots of other friends didn't have comfortable sex until much later than that, too.

And, one tip I got from my OB is to do Kegels during pregnancy while you're sitting at traffic lights (obviously wouldn't work for you walkin' city slickers).


Menita, I'd look at the augs.org website, see a urogynecologist, and talk to him/her about it and see what they say. If there's something that can be done at the time you're having Bingo, that's going to simplify life for everyone. (Although I predict your delivery with Bingo is going to be in no way as traumatic as Polly's was, so there may not be any stitching going on anyway.)

Essi, it looks like the pelvic floor therapy can involve guided Kegel exercises with biofeedback sensors and a physical therapist. (When I sprained my ankle a few years ago my PT was named Vinnie, and while he was very nice and was great with my ankle, the thought of him doing pelvic floor PT is making me laugh and writhe uncomfortably.) But this site, written by two PTs specializing in pelvic floor therapy, makes it sound like there's plenty more involved:

I wonder if you could research urogynecologists in Australia. Or contact the augs.org people and ask if there's an equivalent society in Australia?

Cory, we city folks do our pregnancy Kegels on the bus or subway.


I had a very easy labor and delivery with my first: no epidural, 30 minutes of pushing. I felt back to my normal self within the week. So it was shocking that I was "blown out" down there, for lack of a better description. Sex was terrible. Not painful, just no sensation whatsoever. My doctor was pretty dismissive, lecturing me to do my Kegels. I did, faithfully, all day, every day. I leaked urine when I coughed, sneezed or laughed, and couldn't wear tampons because they slid right back out. Right before my son turned four (and right before I was ready to demand some type of surgery), everything suddenly corrected itself. Sex was great again, tampons were fine, even the bladder was better. I was, however, terrified to ever give birth again. I was so scared that I put if off until there was a ten-year age gap between my first and second. I made the incredibly controversial decision to have an elective cesarean with my second. I had no idea I would be so harshly criticized for my choice. In my mind, it was my only choice. Although many people question the decision I made, I never regretted it. I had a huge daughter with massive shoulders, and I was so glad that I hadn't been forced to deliver her vaginally. A c-section is no picnic, and there are definitely drawbacks to having one, but for me it was right. Sex is great, my tampons fit, and I don't leak urine. Ever! I would never encourage someone else to have an elective cesarean, but it is a choice. I just wish others would be more understanding and respectful of the choice I made. If they walked a mile in my old vagina, they probably would be!


I haven't experienced any "down-there" problems post-partum... I did kegels regularly after birth, and was pretty good about doing them every time I went to the bathroom.

I would like to make kegels a part of an exercise regimen, and continue doing them regularly... but I find them too darned distracting because they make me, well, aroused!

Does everyone get a bit stimulated from doing kegels? Or am I perhaps doing something wrong...?

It sounds like kegels are a really beneficial exercise, so I know I should be doing them. There are certainly worse things than feeling "fired up" at odd times of the day, but I find it really distracting, and tend to avoid them. Any advice that will encourage me to just get over it already appreciated.

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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