Great question -
You raise many issues -
The first is the concept of "VBAC" or vaginal birth after C-section. While the debate has gone back and forth most obstetricians and nurse midwives would agree that patients who have delivered by c-section previously are much more likely to have a c-section again.
The reason this should be a consideration in your planning is that you correctly surmise that some distortion, change in shape or trauma to the labia can happen during childbirth.
However, it is important to recognize that over 75% of women getting a labiaplasty have it before they are done having children.
The decision is yours and your doctor's - you need to assess your concerns and the benefit you may have by pursuing the procedure now vs. the risk that you may need additional surgery after additional children (most practioners would ascribe a small risk to that possibility.)
I hope this helps.
If you have only notice the change in your labia since pregnancy and childbirth then I would suggest waiting.
Most patients who have a labioplasty procedure have not had children. It is possible that blood engorgement in the area during pregnancy has caused the changes you are noticing and for that reason best to wait until you have your second child.
There is no definitive answer to your question, but here are various thoughts/facts that may have an impact on your decsion:
- In a recent survey, about 2/3 of the patients undergoing labiaplasty had not yet had children.
- To some degree, it depends on the amount of discomfort you are experiencing and the timing of planning your next child.
- Labiaplasty does not ensure that your pain will be relieved but only that the labia will be reduced.
- Also take into consideration, that in the same survey above, we discovered that although we advised paitents to refrain from intercourse for 6 weeks after the procedure, most of our patients did not feel comfortable until 8 weeks.
- Traumatic vaginal deliveries may result in labial injury, and I have had occasion to repair this on several occasions. This may mean that if you deliver vaginally (VBAC) you could sustain additional injuries to the labial reduction.
From your description, I don't quite understand how the pregnancy caused problems with the vagina. There are several potential explanations, such as uterine prolapse. I would seek the advice of your gynecologist regarding the change in your sex life. In this case, I would not advise vaginoplasty until completion of child birth. On the other hand, preganancy may contribute to enlargement of the labia; if this is the cause of your discomfort, perhaps you will experience relief from labiaplasty.
I hope this helps!
I do not see an advantage to waiting until after further childbirth for your labiaplasty, especially since you had a c-section performed and will most likely have the same done with future children. Good luck!
Generally speaking, I advise patients to wait until after having children before having labiaplasty. This is because pregnancy and childbirth can cause changes to your genital area which may reverse the effects of your labiaplasty, if it were to be performed beforehand. However, because you mention that you delivered by c-section, then it may not be an issue for you.
Timing of labiaplasty - before or after children?
There is no good reason to wait until after having children. Having children/vaginal delivery will not damage the results of your labiaplasty, there is no deleterious effect.
Although you could go ahead with the labiaplasty now, I personally encourage labiaplasty patients to wait until they do not plan to have more children. Often women will be encouraged to go through with a vaginal birth if they have already had a C-section. In this case, stretching of the labia is highly likely. I’d suggest waiting and having one procedure once you’re finished having kids..
Labiaplasty can be performed at anytime and does not need to be timed with childbirth. Since you are having discomfort due to your enlarged labia, you should consider having the procedure soon.
When to have a Labiaplasty
When to have a labiaplasty is when you first notice that there is a problem. The operation is very simple and consist of trimming off the elongated portion of the labia. The operation takes less than 15 minutes and heals in about three weeks. Labiaplasty is performed under local or I.V. sedation. Cost is about $2500.
Your answer regarding when to have labia reduction is the same as so many issues we treat in Plastic Surgery. The time to have your treatment is when you are aware that your displeasure is constant and persistant. There is no medical reason to wait until after childbearing years, especially when you have already had a C section.
Genitourinary Plastic Surgeon