Vaginal rejuvenation after pregnancy can help reverse changes to your vaginal area that are uncomfortable, embarrassing, or impairing sexual sensation. But with so many options, how can you choose a surgeon—or the correct procedure? We will explain what you need to know before scheduling a consultation and what to expect before, during, and after treatment.
What Is Vaginal Rejuvenation?
Vaginal rejuvenation is a surgical or non-surgical corrective vaginal procedure. A plastic surgeon may use a combination of techniques to achieve the desired results. Rejuvenation procedures correct issues that result from pregnancy and childbirth, aging, excessive weight loss, or trauma, including:
- Vaginal laxity – Loose vaginal muscles can result in loss of sensation during intercourse.
- Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) – Pressure on the bladder and urethra from coughing, sneezing, or exercising, can cause a urine leak.
- Vaginal dryness – Hormonal changes after pregnancy or thinning vaginal walls can cause lingering dryness.
- Stretched labia minora – Inner vaginal lips often stretch during childbirth and cause discomfort, pain, or embarrassment.
Are You a Candidate for Vaginal Rejuvenation Post-Pregnancy?
You might be a candidate for vaginal rejuvenation post-pregnancy if you:
- Are in good health
- Have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure
- Are finished with childbearing
After a consultation and examination, a board-certified plastic surgeon will tell you if you are a candidate for this treatment.
How Soon After Childbirth Can You Get Vaginal Rejuvenation?
You might be anxious about the relief that vaginal rejuvenation offers after pregnancy. Pregnancy and childbirth cause changes to your body, and it needs time to heal.
An article published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons notes that many surgeons recommend waiting six months to a year after childbirth before corrective surgery.
Consider these facts:
- A healthy and fit body heals faster after surgery than a body that is already recovering from childbirth.
- Swollen and stretched vaginal muscles after childbirth may improve in appearance as your body heals.
- Waiting until your body recovers will help you and your surgeon determine if you will benefit from vaginal rejuvenation. This will make it easier to decide which treatment you need and anticipate the results you can expect.
How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon
Before choosing a surgeon for vaginal rejuvenation post-pregnancy, schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
As you prepare for the consultation, consider these questions recommended by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons:
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- Were you trained in vaginal rejuvenation?
- Where will you perform my surgery?
- Do you have hospital privileges to perform vaginal rejuvenation? If so, at which hospitals?
- If you perform surgery at a surgical facility, is it state- or nationally accredited, state-licensed, or Medicare-certified?
- Am I a good candidate for vaginal rejuvenation?
- What surgical technique do you recommend?
- What risks and complications might I experience? And how would you handle them?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the treatment results?
- Do you have before-and-after vaginal rejuvenation pictures to show me?
These questions will help you determine if that plastic surgeon is the right fit for you.
What Happens During a Vaginal Rejuvenation Consultation?
In addition to asking the plastic surgeon questions during your consultation, be prepared to discuss:
- Reasons you are interested in vaginal rejuvenation
- Your goals for the procedure
- Your medical, surgical, and prescription histories
- Current medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements
- History of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
During your consultation, the plastic surgeon will also:
- Review and evaluate your health
- Perform an exam
- Take photographs
- Explain your options, risks, and the results you can expect
- Recommend treatment
- Discuss anesthesia options for the procedure
What Are the Types of Vaginal Rejuvenation?
Post-pregnancy vaginal rejuvenation includes surgical and non-surgical options. In most cases, your surgeon will complete the procedure with local anesthesia.
- Labiaplasty – Reduces long or protruding inner-vaginal lips, or labia minora. The trim procedure removes excess tissue from the edges and stitches it. The wedge procedure removes a pie-shaped wedge from the thickest portion of the labia minora.
- Clitoral hood reduction – Reduces the excess folds of skin that surround the clitoris. The procedure is often performed along with labiaplasty to prevent the clitoral hood from bulging or looking too large compared with smaller inner vaginal lips.
- Vaginoplasty – Tightens the vagina by uniting separated muscles and removes extra mucosa skin from the back of the vagina.
- Perineoplasty – Removes excess skin and tightens underlying perineum muscles. The perineum is the area between the vagina and the rectum.
- Genital radiofrequency – Penetrates vaginal tissue layers with controlled heat to stimulate collagen proteins and tone and tighten muscles and skin tissue.
- Laser treatment – Heats vaginal tissue but does not penetrate as deeply as radiofrequency.
- Sound wave technology – Stimulates nerves and blood vessels, increases blood flow, and promotes healthy tissue.
- G-spot enhancement – Injects Platelet Rich Plasma into the front vaginal wall to increase sensitivity in the area.
- Kegel exercises – Strengthens pelvic floor muscles with repetitive daily exercises that target the area.
How Can You Prepare for Vaginal Rejuvenation?
You can prepare for post-pregnancy vaginal rejuvenation in these ways:
- Taking time to fully heal after childbirth – Giving your body time to recover after pregnancy will strengthen you for vaginal rejuvenation surgery and recovery.
- Eating nutritious food – Healthy food supports your immune system, reduces inflammation, and assists your recovery.
- Exercising regularly – Training your body to exercise will make it easier to walk and stimulate circulation after your procedure.
- Drinking plenty of water – A hydrated body is a healthier body. Drinking water can reduce your pain sensitivity, decrease nausea, and minimize weakness from dehydration.
- Quitting habits like smoking or overindulging in alcohol – Smoking constricts blood vessels, delays healing, and increases the risk of infection. Similarly, alcohol increases the risk of post-operative bleeding and infection.
- Getting plenty of rest – Getting enough sleep and rest can calm anxiety, reduce stress, and prevent hypersensitivity to pain after surgery.
- Getting a pap smear – Your plastic surgeon will ask you to get a pap smear if you have not had one within the past two years.
- Stop taking medications and supplements that increase bleeding – Aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication, and some vitamins, supplements, and prescription medications can increase bleeding. Your surgeon will explain how many days before surgery you must stop taking them.
- Anticipating the expense – Your insurance company will not cover vaginal rejuvenation after childbirth unless it is medically necessary. Plan for out-of-pocket costs.
If your plastic surgeon performs surgery for your vaginal rejuvenation, you can prepare in these ways:
- Arrange for transportation – A responsible adult will need to drive you to and from your surgery appointment. It is also a good idea for someone to stay with you overnight.
- Take time off – After surgery, you will need to rest and limit vigorous activities for two weeks. It is important to schedule time off from work or school.
- Get groceries – Purchase enough groceries and healthy snacks to last until you are mobile or arrange for grocery delivery.
- Pick up prescriptions – Your plastic surgeon will prescribe pain relievers and antibiotics that you can pick up prior to surgery.
- Ask for help at home – Most household tasks require bending, reaching, lifting, pushing, or pulling, which is not conducive to recovery—plan for assistance at home, including caring for your children or pets.
You can prepare for non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation with these steps:
- Check your calendar – Schedule your procedure for a date when you will not be on your menstrual period.
- Refrain from intercourse – Avoid intercourse for 24 hours before treatment.
- Remove hair – Shave the hair above and around your vaginal area.
How Long Does a Vaginal Rejuvenation Procedure Take?
Your surgeon will estimate the length of your post-pregnancy vaginal rejuvenation based on your consultation. Below are estimates of typical recovery times:
Average Length of Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation
- Clitoral hood reduction – One hour
- Labiaplasty – One hour
- Perineoplasty – One hour
- Vaginoplasty – One to two hours
Average Length of Non-surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation
Non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation requires scheduling multiple sessions several weeks apart, and it is usually completed in three to four months.
- Genital radiofrequency – 30 minutes
- Laser treatment – 30 minutes to an hour
- Sound wave technology – 10 to 30 minutes
- G-spot enhancement – 15 minutes, but the injection only takes several seconds
What Can You Expect During Recovery?
Your recovery after vaginal rejuvenation post-pregnancy depends on which procedures you receive.
Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation Recovery
- Discomfort – Swelling and discomfort will peak during the first week after surgery and gradually improve. If you take pain relievers and antibiotics as prescribed, you can manage your symptoms. An ice compress will also help to relieve swelling.
- Activity – Avoid household tasks and incorporate non-strenuous walking. Resume other non-strenuous activities within four weeks, and avoid sexual activity for four to six weeks as directed by your plastic surgeon. Riding a bike, motorcycle, or horse requires a release from your surgeon.
- Return to work or school – Most patients can return to work or school in one to two weeks. But your surgeon must approve your return.
Clitoral Hood Reduction
- Discomfort – You can relieve swelling, itching, and discomfort with pain relievers and antibiotics as prescribed. Apply a cold pack to reduce swelling further.
- Activity – Reduce your activity for two weeks, and avoid strenuous activities and intercourse for four to six weeks. Your plastic surgeon will explain when you can resume activities, including bike, motorcycle, and horseback riding.
- Return to work or school – Most patients can return to work or school in one to three days. If you also receive labiaplasty, your return-to-work date will be delayed.
- Discomfort – Take pain relievers and antibiotics as prescribed to relieve deep aches and swelling. Applying a cold compress can be soothing as it reduces swelling.
- Activity – Reduce your activity for two weeks, and avoid strenuous activities and intercourse for four to six weeks. Your plastic surgeon will discuss when you can ride a bike, motorcycle, or horse again.
- Return to work or school – You can return to work or school in one to three days unless you receive another procedure.
- Discomfort – It is common to feel minimal to moderate pain and experience minor bleeding and discharge. Take pain medication as your surgeon directs.
- Activity – Limit your activity for two weeks, and avoid intercourse and strenuous exercise for four to six weeks. Also, refrain from bike, motorcycle, and horseback riding until your surgeon releases you.
- Return to work or school – In general, you can return to work in three days.
Non-surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation Recovery
Your recovery from non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation after childbirth will be minimal.
- Discomfort – You will feel minimal to no discomfort or tenderness, and if you need pain relief, you can use over-the-counter medication.
- Activity – Your plastic surgeon may instruct you to avoid intercourse and using tampons for a few days. Feel free to resume your daily routine otherwise.
- Return to work or school – You can return to work or school after the treatment.
When Will You See Results from Post-Pregnancy Vaginal Rejuvenation?
Results after post-pregnancy vaginal rejuvenation depend on your procedure, how well you follow post-treatment instructions and your health.
You will progressively see results from surgical vaginal rejuvenation in about three months as swelling and scars reduce and tissue takes shape. The effects of a surgical procedure are intended to last but may change with excessive weight gain or future pregnancy.
You should begin noticing results from non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation in about 30 days, and improvements will continue for three months. According to an article published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, results can last one year or longer before you need to repeat treatment.
Thinking About Vaginal Rejuvenation Post-Pregnancy?
If you are interested in vaginal rejuvenation after childbirth, schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your concerns and treatment options. Contact Plastic Surgery Associates in San Francisco to request a consultation today.