Motherhood is a wonderful thing. Birthing your child and watching them grow makes enduring things like postpartum vaginal dryness (PVD) worth it in the end. What is PVD? How does it affect your health and well-being, and how do you cope with it?
What to Expect & How to Cope with Postpartum Recovery
Postpartum vaginal dryness occurs due to the change in hormones after the birth. Your body produces higher concentrations of hormones when you're pregnant to support your child's development in the womb.
After the main event of childbirth, the body pulls back on hormone production to improve efficiency and optimize physiological functions to initiate recovery. Childbirth is an extremely taxing event on the female body, and it needs time to reorganize itself and recover from the physical stress endured during pregnancy and birth.
Estrogen and progesterone levels drop fast, returning to pre-pregnancy levels in approximately 24 hours after childbirth. The success of the birth dictates the length of postpartum recovery for the mother.
Mothers who experience a tear during birth or push for longer than three hours will have a harder time recovering than those that endured an hour of pushing and no vaginal tearing. However, recovery is challenging, and you can expect the following physiological events during the recovery period:
- Vaginal discharge and bleeding
- Urinary incontinence and trouble going to the bathroom
- Difficulty reaching the bathroom in time
Postpartum Vaginal Dryness & Discomfort
One of the biggest impacts of changes in hormone levels during postpartum recovery is vaginal atrophy and dryness. A hormone imbalance between progesterone and estrogen may result in the cervix gland secreting less lubricant to the vaginal walls.
Most women don't feel like having sex with their partner for up to six months postpartum as they deal with their recovery. If they have sex, they may experience dryness, pain, and inflammation. Due to this phenomenon, 46.3% of women report no interest in sexual activity during recovery.
Breastfeeding Can Cause Postpartum Vaginal Dryness
Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding can affect hormone production and cause vaginal dryness due to hormone imbalance. Estrogen levels impact breastmilk production, and they drop further to accommodate the child's nutritional needs.
This effect of reduced estrogen production has the same effect on the cervical gland and vaginal walls, leading to dryness, higher pH levels in the vagina, and tightening of the vaginal walls. Breastfeeding mimics menopause because prolactin production for milk blocks estrogen production temporarily.
Breastfeeding mothers have lower estrogen levels than those who choose not to breastfeed. As a result, vaginal dryness and atrophy are more common in these mothers postpartum.
What Is the Postpartum Recovery Timeline & How Can I Speed It Up?
Average postpartum recovery times range from six to eight weeks for most new mothers undergoing vaginal births. Women should take their time returning to activities like exercise and sex to give themselves time to heal. Listen to your doctor and follow their advice.
You'll need to manage the physical and mental health symptoms that arise during this period. Advil and Tylenol can help you deal with pain and inflammation. And you have several other OTC and non-medication therapies available to speed up the healing process.
Ice Inflammation & Swelling
The vulva and vaginal walls experience inflammation during childbirth. The swelling from the birth could last for weeks, depending on the birthing experience. Applying ice to the vulva in the first 24 hours after delivery dramatically reduces swelling, providing relief.
During the recovery period, it's important to avoid using douching products. The vagina is self-cleaning, and using soaps, body washes, or cleansing formulas will cause huge problems with the bacterial balance in the vagina.
Bacterial imbalances between good and bacteria in the vagina can lead to an increase in the alkalinity of the vagina and the onset of dryness due to conditions like thrush and bacterial vaginosis. These problems require anti-fungal and antibiotic treatments to restore bacterial balance and relieve dryness.
Childbirth is traumatic for the vagina and might result in hemorrhoids, tears, and stitches. You'll need to keep your vagina lubricated and moist after childbirth to relieve symptoms of dryness and irritation and prevent infection.
Avoid using hygiene products containing fragrances, disinfectants, and detergents. Avoid using pads with synthetic fibers and plastics that might exacerbate irritation.
Do some Kegels every morning if you're dealing with urinary incontinence during postpartum recovery. Kegels exercise the "pelvic floor," which undergoes stretching during childbirth.
Kegels help to tone and restore the structural integrity of the vaginal walls and pelvic floor, fast-tracking your recovery. Kegels help recover the sphincter and the bladder, reducing incontinence symptoms.
Talk to Someone If You Feel Depressed
Some new mothers experience the onset of "postpartum depression" in the wake of the birth. Estrogen can impact your mental health as much as your physiology, and you need support to recover from the emotional fatigue you're experiencing during this time.
Don't try to endure the experience yourself; speak to your partner, friends, and family to get support during recovery.
Lubracil – Real Relief from Postpartum Dryness
Improving diet and lifestyle goes a long way to helping you cope with PVD, but it's not enough to stop the condition from severely impacting your physical and mental health. Lubricants are the closest thing to experiencing relief, but it's only temporary and requires reapplication.
Lubracil gives you lasting results and is the only way to ensure you make your PVD a thing of the past. Lubracil is an oral supplement. Take two soft gel capsules daily, and you benefit from the healing and lubricating power of omega EFAs and vitamin E.
Lubracil features concentrated sea buckthorn oil extract (SBO17). Sea buckthorn is well-known as a natural herbal remedy for relieving vaginal dryness. SBO17 is a patented extract, including the highest concentrations of polyphenol antioxidants, vitamins, EFAs, and minerals.
Try Lubracil for two weeks, and you'll start to notice results. After a month of consistent use, your vaginal dryness will no longer be a problem. Enhance your well-being and improve your quality of life. Try Lubracil and experience relief from postpartum vaginal dryness.