Be it cesarean section or vaginal delivery, women face many things when they bring a child into this world. In fact, a woman’s body undergoes major changes during the course of pregnancy. The body may feel tired and sore after delivery. Another common thing that women experience is postpartum vaginal dryness that lead to an itch down there. But is that the only cause of vaginal itching after c-section? Here’s what an expert has to say about postpartum itch, especially after a Caesarean section.
To know about postpartum vaginal itching, Health Shots reached out to Dr Triveni Arun, Senior Consultant Gynaecologist at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Sahakar Nagar, Bengaluru.
Vaginal itching after c-section
As your body heals after delivery, you will notice some vaginal changes. Postpartum vaginal dryness is one of them, and that also makes you itchy down there. In fact, the expert says whether you deliver via c-section or vaginal birth, you can get postpartum vaginal itching. Dryness can make tissue of the vagina thinner, less elastic and more prone to injury. It can also make your private area inflamed, which might cause itching and burning.
Here are some of the causes of vaginal itching and dryness:
1. Hormonal changes
One of the important reasons for postpartum vaginal dryness and itching is hormonal changes, particularly estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone levels decline dramatically after giving birth, says Dr Arun. A lack of estrogen is responsible for many of the postpartum symptoms that women experience including hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and itching.
2. Itchy lochia
Vaginal bleeding after birth is called lochia and it is normal even though it mind seem alarming. It is made up of all the excess tissue and blood that lines the uterus during pregnancy. If the lochia gets left on your skin, it can cause itching and irritation until it is washed away.
3. Yeast infection
You might have yeast infection within few weeks after giving birth. It might be associated with antibiotics or due to hormonal changes. Common symptoms include vaginal itching, soreness and white vaginal discharge.
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4. Synthetic pads
Many women use pads that consist of plastic and synthetic materials which can cause irritation and contact dermatitis followed by itching.
In case of vaginal birth, a common reason for vaginal itching is healing of the stitches received during delivery. This is because giving birth requires a certain amount of stretching and sometimes stretching causes tears in the vagina. The stitches can itch as they dry up. That itching might be very intense, but good news is that it means you are healing.
Tips to treat vaginal itchiness after delivery
All that pain and vaginal itching won’t last forever. Here are some tips you can follow if the itching gets too much:
- Keep your private clean to avoid infections. Gently wash with warm water every time you use the washroom.
- Take a sitz bath.
- Change your maternity pads every 4 to 6 hours and avoid using sanitary pads made for periods as they can cause friction and discomfort.
- Wash your hands before and after changing the pad to reduce the chance of infections.
- Consider applying a moisturiser.
- When you wear underwear, make sure they are comfortable, breathable and washed with a non-irritating soap. Cotton is best option.
- Drink lots of water to keep your body well hydrated.
- Avoid douches and personal hygiene sprays, which can irritate sensitive vaginal tissue and cause itching.
- Avoid any vaginal wash products that contain fragrances or harsh detergents. These can irritate you down there.
Postpartum vaginal itching generally clears up on its own after hormones reach normal levels.