There are some great articles out there on how to treat your vaginal and labial tissues after vaginal childbirth. Many with a lot of humor and style! Needless to say, it’s a very traumatic event, and here I am going to draw an analogy to athletics.
Even though the vagina was meant to stretch, it gets stretched TO and BEYOND it’s limits. Women have a wide variety of mild tears to severe tears, requiring sutures, and sometimes reconstruction. Women also have a wide variety of pain symptoms. The tissue got torn and is injured, just like an athlete’s knee or ankle can be injured. The vagina and labia will go through inflammation and a tissue repair process. So why not ice or cool the external tissue to decrease inflammation, swelling, tenderness, and pain? Would the external tissues heal faster, as in athletic injuries?
The below listed websites have great tips for treating the whole pelvic floor after vaginal childbirth, and they list cooling or ice by different methods. One doula I spoke to said that the women in her practice soak maxi pads in water and then freeze them; the issue is that they are one time use, can be bulky, awkward, and sometimes drippy. Using ice or cool packs is not novel for this problem, but what can S/he*Pak offer?
S/he*Pak has many great features and upgrades for this problem. It is reusable and is easily cleaned, with soap and water, isopropyl alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide. It is not bulky; it is streamlined with a comfortable design. It cools both the internal and external tissues, but MOST WOMEN WILL ONLY BE ABLE TO USE IT EXTERNALLY. You can place it in the freezer or the refrigerator based on preference. It is clean, safe, and dignified. No mess!
Why will most only be advised to use it externally after child birth? One reason is sutures. If you have sutures, the medical professionals we consulted have concern for inserting the device and placing any stretch, decreasing healing time of tears. Another reason is the rule that women hear over and over about NOTHING being inserted into the vagina for fear of introducing new bacteria and causing very harmful infections. While S/he*Pak can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, and our consulting OB/Gyn practitioners didn’t have concerns for infection, using S/he*Pak in the vagina will need further professional discussion, that I will update and post as soon as possible.
Medical consensus is that it is okay to use ice packs to the external tissues postpartum.
Please ask your doctor or OB/Gyn professional first, if S/he*Pak is a good option to relieve your symptoms and potentially heal faster!