Swollen Clit After Childbirth: Causes & Remedies

Swollen Clit After Childbirth

What causes a swollen clit after childbirth and what are the remedies? The clitoris is a small, sensitive organ located at the top of the vulva, which is typically associated with pleasure.

Unfortunately, swelling and inflammation in this area can occur and when it does it can be extremely uncomfortable. Many women describe the feeling as if they are holding a bowling ball in between their legs as they walk.

Although there are other potential causes for a swollen clitoris (such as some STDs, rough intercourse, clothing irritation, trauma, and hair irritation), childbirth is the likely cause of a swollen clitoris amongst new mothers.

Causes of a Swollen Clitoris After Childbirth

Trauma of Delivery

One of the causes of a swollen clitoris after childbirth is trauma due to an assisted delivery where the use of forceps and other instruments are used to quicken the childbirth process. When this happens, you may experience tearing of the labia, the perineum, and other surrounding areas.

This, in turn, means that you will need stitches. In this case, the clitoris will swell immediately and stay swollen for up to six weeks.

A swollen clit is perfectly normal and will subside in time. This can also happen after an episiotomy (a procedure in which the perineum is cut to make childbirth easier for the baby).

Changes in Blood Flow

Another cause for a swollen clitoris after childbirth are changing blood flow patterns. Your body is going through a lot of changes during birth, and postpartum. During childbirth, there is an influx of blood flow to the vagina. This can cause temporary clitoral and vaginal swelling.

In pregnancy, the blood flow is increased to make up for what is being used for your baby. This continuously happens until childbirth, where it is at its peak. The blood vessels dilate with the increase in blood flow, as do the mucous membranes. This is also the reason that nosebleeds are more common in pregnancy.

Blood flow and the presence of blood is very important to keep track of as it can be an indicator of serious conditions such as miscarriage. A medical professional should always be consulted if you have any concerns or notice any abnormalities at all.

Postpartum sex

After childbirth, your clitoris may be extra sensitive. This also means that, if you and your partner decide to have sex, you are taking the risk of irritating your already sensitive clitoris. Though this can prove to be a great thing for orgasms, this can also become immensely painful.

External Irritation

Micro-abrasions on your clitoris from rubbing against clothing and hair can seriously irritate your clit, making the swelling worse. More than likely, your clit was already slightly swollen and you just didn’t notice.

Now that you have irritated the swelling further, you will be able to notice it more. You may also notice that your vaginal area has darkened. This is completely normal and will fade after a few weeks. The best thing to do is give your body time to heal.

Remedies for a Swollen Clit

We’ve talked about the causes, now let’s find some remedies.

Ice Packs for a Swollen Clit 

Ice packs and cold compresses applied directly to the clitoris are the most common method of relieving the swelling. It’s already a proven fact that if you experience swelling anywhere else on the body, ice will help restrict the blood vessels and reduce the swelling and pain. The same goes for the clitoris.

Swollen Clit Creams

If you don’t want to apply cold directly to it, try using an anesthetic gel or aloe vera. Make sure that you are using something safe for vaginal use as you don’t want to be counterproductive by giving yourself a yeast infection or irritation. There are also specialized creams, such as Momma Bottom Balm, Monistat 7, and WaterWorks Natural Cleansing System, that are made for that specific area.

Epsom Salt Bath

Taking an Epsom salt bath is also a common method for dealing with a painful and swollen clit after childbirth. Unfortunately, if you’ve experienced tearing, you may be advised not to take a bath. In this case, taking 1-2 showers a day may help.

Time

The only thing you can really do for a swollen clit after childbirth is giving it time. The swelling will gradually go down within the first few weeks postpartum. If it proves to be extremely painful, the remedies mentioned prior can assist with the pain, but it is not much you can do but wait.

What Happens to your Body After Childbirth?

Many changes happen to a woman’s body after undergoing childbirth. It almost seems like their entire physical makeup has changed. Changes can happen to your midsection, thighs, face, and even teeth! Here are some of the most common changes that occur.

Weakness

Many moms-to-be don’t put a lot of stock into peripartum (before birth) workouts. This leads to weakened joints and muscles in the arms and midsection. This can cause ‘flabby’ arms, difficulty lifting your baby, and a harder time regaining the tone you had before pregnancy.

Swollen Phalanges (Fingers, Wrists, Toes, and Ankles)

This is caused by an increase in hormones. These hormones assist in retaining water, meaning that the swelling is water retention-based. This normally subsides within a few weeks after birth.

Saggy Breasts

Your breasts may sag and retain stretch marks after birth. This is caused by the stretching that happens when your breasts fill with milk for breastfeeding.

Stretch Marks on Thighs, Hips, and Butt

Pregnancy determines where you put on extra weight. Most women gain some extra weight in their thighs, hips, and buttocks regions. This causes stretch marks and extra, sometimes unwanted, weight in these areas after birth.

Increased Foot Size

This is mainly due to swelling in your feet during pregnancy. While pregnant, your center of gravity shifts, meaning that your feet need to compensate for the extra weight.

This causes your feet to swell up. The swelling in your feet will usually subside a few weeks after pregnancy, but you may find that your feet are still a size bigger than they were before you conceived.

Vaginal Swelling

One of the most common things to change is your vaginal area, considering this is where most of the action takes place. One of the most annoying, and painful, changes that take place postpartum is a swollen clitoris. Doing Kegels regularly can assist in vaginal recuperation after childbirth.

Final Thoughts

Though there are quite a few remedies for a swollen clitoris, the best thing you can do is give it time to heal and shrink back to its original size, or close to it.

Like many pregnancy health concerns, time is the best healer, in the meantime, you can certainly help relieve any discomfort and swelling using one of the popular methods listed above.

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