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How do i care for my bulging vaginal walls postpartum?

Does your vaginal walls bulge after giving birth?

Below are some tips and advice on how to optimize recovery and healing!


Jessica gave birth eight months ago. The birth was long and the pushing stage was hard, but eventually the birth ended quite well and Jessica only needed a few stitches. The first few days Jessica had a hard time walking and she felt rather sore and swollen. It hurt to sit and to stand or walk more than just a little bit. Gradually, the discomfort improved but didn’t go away completely. At her postnatal visit, Jessica was told that her vaginal walls bulge a bit and that her kegels are quite weak.


Weeks later, Jessica was still bothered by a heaviness and an aching feeling of fatigue, especially after having been on her feet for a long time or having walked far. Sometimes Jessica had a feeling of something bulging in her vaginal opening. After a while, Jessica booked a visit at a gynecologist clinic. The gynecologist assured Jessica that what she felt was ‘normal’ and to be expected and told Jessica to go home and practice her kegels, and return if her issues still remained a year postpartum.

When checking with a mirror, Jessica saw a small pink bubble protrude from her vaginal opening. It was only visible when she was standing, while lying down the bubble disappeared. Jessica felt super frustrated that something obviously had changed with her body, but that no one seemed to take her concerns or symptoms seriously. She feared everything would come falling out of her. All in all, Jessica felt her identity, sexuality and self confidence suffered from the physical change.



It’s not uncommon to have lax and bulging vaginal walls following a vaginal birth. The vaginal walls are stretched to such a degree by the baby’s descent through the birth canal, that they become distended and weakened for some time. This distension allows for the pelvic organs which rest upon the pelvic floor to sag somewhat. Furthermore, the hormones which prepare the body for birth also have a loosening effect on the vaginal walls as well as the tissues surrounding the vagina. This, too, can contribute to laxity postpartum.


Bulging vaginal walls can cause a great many, some or no symptoms at all. If there are symptoms, these often include a feeling of heaviness or having a bulge in or above your vaginal opening, having an ache in your pelvis or low back, difficulty inserting a tampon or emptying your bowels completely. Symptoms typically worsen during the day.


As always, I believe birth related injury to the pelvic floor and vagina should be treated in the same approach used to treat athletic injuries (that is, injuries sustained to muscles or connective tissues following a highly demanding physical feat).

Here’s another post on the difference between a prolapse and bulging or lax vaginal walls.

Here’s guidance on what you can do to reduce your symptoms. (This links to a Swedish post. You can use the Google translate tool to translate the content of the post.)

Taking care to not overexert your already weakened supporting tissues may help with recovery. If Jessica needs to lift and carry her child a lot during a specific day, she might benefit from avoiding doing the grocery shopping, carry heavy grocery bags and doing the laundry that same day. Similarly, she should perhaps refrain from both going on a long walk pushing the pram which aggravates her symptoms during the day, as well as be up on her feet cooking later that evening.


Avoiding constipation and emptying your bowels in a gentle way is an important part of caring for your pelvic floor postpartum.

Jessica would do well following the advice given in this post (Swedish post). When Jessica starts working out she should choose a type of exercise which isn’t too demanding of her pelvic floor (Swedish post). That said, she may not need to mind her pelvic floor while working out forever

Here’s a post in a series of posts on becoming physically fit despite having a weak pelvic floor. (Swedish post).


It’s important to know that healthcare providers such as physiotherapists, gynecologists and midwives see bulging and lax vaginal walls in women who have recently given birth on a daily basis. Most women’s’ symptoms disappear during the first year postpartum. Just as the skin on your once pregnant belly will become more firm again, so too will your vaginal walls gradually recover. For those with remaining symptoms there’s help readily available, i.e. by wearing a supportive device or by having surgery.


Jessica is an imaginary patient of mine, a woman whom I typically meet a week or so after she’s had her postnatal check-up. I’ve comforted her as she cried during her visit with me, and I’ve assessed the strength of her pelvic floor contraction (‘kegel’). I’ve nagged her about pelvic floor exercises and we’ve tested different workout exercises in the gym. A year after her first vaginal birth she’s doing okay. She still has some symptoms during ovulation and menstruation, but her pelvic floor contractions are stronger and she dares to do almost everything she wishes to in the gym. She has sex without any issues and is considering trying for another baby. She’s mindful about avoiding constipation and uses a squatty potty to put her feet on when she’s having a poop.


Bulging vaginal walls postpartum often heal on their own. Even if symptoms may be both frightening and debilitating initially, they usually gradually improve with time. For those few who have remaining issues there’s help offered by healthcare providers. Unfortunately, I’ve met a great many patients who feel they have had to fight to receive such help. My advice to these individuals is this; be a demanding patient. Don’t settle with less than a good examination and a plan devised to find a solution for you and your symptoms.


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