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Most women who get vaginal rejuvenation surgery do so when they are done having children. In fact, many of these women seek out various vaginal cosmetic procedures to correct damage and loose skin caused by pregnancy and childbirth. However, a small percentage of women may have gotten a vaginoplasty, labiaplasty, or similar procedure earlier in their lives for a variety of reasons, like damage or congenital defect, and may be wondering what this means for future pregnancies and the prospect of vaginal birth.

There is no easy answer to this question. Whether pregnancy and vaginal birth are in the cards for you after vaginal rejuvenation will depend on several unique factors, like the exact procedures you received and how long ago you received them. Your pregnancy weight and the number of fetuses you’re carrying could also play a role. In this article, we provide general information for some of the most frequently asked questions about pregnancy after vaginal rejuvenation. But you should consult with your OB-GYN about the best course of action for you.

What Happens If I Get Pregnant After a Vaginal Rejuvenation?

First of all, different vaginal procedures will be affected differently by pregnancy.

Labiaplasties, in particular, are rare prior to having children. However, many doctors will tell you not to worry too much about waiting until you’re done having kids. They’ll tell you that the time to have a labiaplasty is when you notice a problem, like discomfort during sex caused by sagging labial skin. You are in no danger if you get pregnant after a labiaplasty. Your worst-case scenario is that you might need another when the pregnancy is over.

Vaginal reconstruction, or vaginoplasty, is a little trickier. During this procedure, your surgeon will narrow your vagina. Pregnancy, however, may have the opposite effect. As you put on weight, the fetus and surrounding fluid could put pressure on your vaginal canal and cause it to loosen. Just as with a labiaplasty, there is no danger here. However, even if you opt for a cesarean section (C-section), you could be in the market for a fresh rejuvenation down the line.

Can I Deliver Vaginally After a Vaginal Rejuvenation?

If the mere act of getting pregnant could undo the positive results of your surgery, then delivering vaginally certainly will. As the baby moves through the birth canal, it’s body will widen your vagina and stretch your labia. What’s more, women who deliver vaginally often experience issues with sexual dysfunction and urinary incontinence that vaginal rejuvenation procedures are meant to correct.

If you’re reading this article, then you’re likely wondering if vaginal delivery after vaginal rejuvenation could lead to tearing. The tissue in the vagina is naturally designed to stretch. That’s how women can deliver vaginally in the first place. That being said, women’s bodies are different. Some women who have tighter vaginas may be at a greater risk of tearing, whether those vaginas are naturally tight or not.

C-sections are a perfectly legitimate way to give birth and may help you preserve some of your procedure results. However, a C-section is major surgery and shouldn’t be undergone lightly. It’s important that you discuss your concerns and options with your OB-GYN.

How Can I Reduce the Risk of Tearing?

First of all, don’t lose sleep over vaginal tearing. Some small degree of vaginal tearing is actually very common during birth. In fact, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, about 90% of women tear who deliver vaginally.  Other sources put that number at around 73%. However, the point still stands. There is a very good chance that you’ll tear a little bit. For most women, this is virtually inconsequential. Serious tears are far rarer.

In any case, there are some things you can do to reduce your chance of tearing, especially if you’re concerned about tightness from your vaginal rejuvenation.

  • Massage Your Perineum – The perineum is that space between your vulva and your anus. It is a common point of tearing during vaginal birth. Massage this area gently for about 10 minutes each day for several weeks leading up to your due date. This will help soften and loosen the area.
  • Change Your Position – When you picture childbirth, you probably see a woman lying on her back with her knees in the air. This is not the only way to give birth. Many women give birth on their sides, on their hands and knees, and while squatting. Other positions put less pressure on the perineum.
  • Use a Warm Compress – During delivery, a warm compress applied to the perineum can help soothe and loosen the area.
  • Be in Charge – In the movies, you’re always hearing the nurse or doctor tell the pregnant woman when to push. In truth, you know your body the best. If you push when you naturally feel the urge and not when the nurse says “go,” then you’re less likely to push too hard.

Do I Need an Episiotomy?

There is one thing that your doctor can do to help reduce the risk of tearing. Basically, the doctor preempts the tearing by making a controlled incision in the perineum. This incision, called an episiotomy or perineotomy, is by no means necessary and is not as common as it used to be. It can also lead to a variety of short- and long-term complications from bruising and bleeding to chronic infections and urinary incontinence. That being said, it is still occasionally recommended. If you’re worried about severe tearing due to a tight vaginoplasty, then discuss this option with your OB-GYN.

How Soon After Childbirth can I Have a Vaginal Rejuvenation?

Whether you’ve decided to wait until after you’re done having children or you’re looking for a touch-up to correct some of the issues caused by childbirth, you’ll want to give your body some time to heal before having surgery. Some doctors suggest waiting three months after birth. However, others recommend closer to six months. Be honest with yourself and your prospective surgeon. There’s no reason to rush such an important procedure.

All in all, your biggest concern when it comes to pregnancy and vaginal birth after vaginal rejuvenation is cost. It is safe to have a child but know that the physical and cosmetic benefits that you paid for when you got the procedure may not stick around. Unless you have a compelling reason to get the procedure done now, then consider waiting until after you’re done having children, so you can enjoy the results for years to come.