So first things first, it is very common for first time mums to have stitches. They will take about 10 days to dissolve and 6 weeks to be fully healed. However, it can take even longer for sensation in the vagina and perineum to return to normal as the nerves may still be healing. So if its uncomfortable the first time you have sex don’t worry this should improve over time and if it doesn’t don’t be embarrassed, speak to your doctor about it. There are ways to fix the problem. If you are breastfeeding the lack of oestrogen can cause vaginal dryness and again may make things feel different.
In the first few days it is important to do a few things to prevent infection. Clean the stitches 2-3 times a day. Just let the water run on them in the shower. You don’t need to use soap or disinfectant. Please don’t have a bath with salt or tea tree oil. This will speed up the stitches dissolving (which is not a good thing) and cause unnecessary pain. Change pads regularly. Take paracetamol and nurofen as needed. On day 3 the stitches may feel a bit tighter. This is a normal part of the healing process, before they loosen up and dissolve.
The midwife or doctor will check your stitches before you leave the hospital. The public health nurse will check them when she visits you at home and your doctor will check them at your 6 week check. If there are concerns about infection they will usually take a swab and prescribe antibiotics for a week. Signs of infection are an increase in pain, bad smell or discharge from the stitches. If they get infected it takes longer for them to heal but they will heal and things will return to normal.
For further questions please contact your own Doctor.