Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Mum exposes the reality of struggle having sex after childbirth

“The thought of having sex again scared me”

Sarah Young
Saturday 01 July 2017 10:26 BST
Comments
Zoe George was eventually diagnosed with vaginismus
Zoe George was eventually diagnosed with vaginismus

A woman has spoken out about her struggle to have sex after childbirth in a bid to raise awareness of the difficulties new mums can face in the bedroom.

Zoe George, from Australia, who blogs at The Subtle Mummy, revealed that the difficult birth of her first baby, who was delivered by forceps, left her vagina “broken.”

And, that when she tried to sex with her husband six months later, it was a “nightmare.”

“It took this long before my husband even dared to bring it up,”she wrote.

“I was petrified. I have been bungee jumping before and the thought of having sex again scared me more.”

After struggling for a further six months, George decided to visit her gynaecologist who examined her and said that it was scar tissue from the stitches she had after the birth which were causing the problem.

“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.

“I decided to give the latter option a go for one more month, and thankfully it worked.”

But then, the now mum to Ari, three, and Ambrosia, 18 months, was faced with another problem: vaginismus.

A condition which causes an involuntary reflex of the muscles surrounding the entrance to the vagina, vaginismus can make penetration painful and in some instances impossible.

The NHS says that it can be caused by damage to the vagina during childbirth, disrupt or completely stop your sex life, and lead to relationship problems.”

However, vaginismus can be treated with appropriate medication if there is a physical cause, while sex therapy and physiotherapy may be recommended if the cause is psychological.

As a result, George went through specialist physiotherapy but admits that she as a “long way to go” before she is “100 per cent relaxed down there.”

“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 concluded.

“I am mortified at the thought of my family reading it, but it’s all for the greater good, I say.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in