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Grace Chambers - Labiaplasty Diary

Labiaplasty Diary at LBPS

Motivations for Surgery

Between the ages of 12-13 years of age, I noticed that my vagina developed a marked change to its appearance. My inner labia tissue became distended and subsequently protruded from my outer labia. Curious to know more about the change to my vagina’s appearance I looked at several anatomy drawings of the female genitalia in scientific books.

Unlike my vagina, the anatomy drawings demonstrated the inner labia (labia minora) to be tucked neatly inside the outer labia (labia majora). After this discovery, I became anxious that my protruding labia appeared somewhat abnormal and also looked rather unsightly in the way it poked out like a tongue.

My protruding inner labia not only affected my self-esteem and body confidence during my adolescence and early adulthood, but also it caused me moderate discomfort. I found my protruding labia would often feel sore and tender from rubbing particularly when I wore high crotched trousers, tights, skinny jeans and also when I rode a bicycle.

Looking back now, my disliking and embarrassment of my protruding labia even discouraged me from booking a simple bikini wax, which I had really wanted to do since my early 20s.

It was until the beginning of July this year that I decided to confide in my boyfriend, sharing with him my disliking in my labia’s appearance and also the discomfort it regularly caused.

Confiding in my boyfriend provided me with a huge sense of relief and his support encouraged me to take the next step in seeking a professional opinion … and there began my journey with Mr. Inglefield, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and his medical team at London Bridge Plastic Surgery.

The Consultation

Throughout the entire consultation I felt very relaxed and at ease in the company of Mr. Inglefield and his nurse Mary. Their warm and empathetic nature filled me with much needed re-assurance, extinguishing any pre-anticipated nerves I had at the very beginning of the consultation.

As a patient seeking out the right surgeon, I very much appreciated the way Mr Inglefield attentively listened to any concerns I had regarding surgery and post operative recovery, and also his encouragement for me to voice my goals and expectations. Mr. Inglefield ticked all the right boxes for me. I left the consultation feeling confident that I would be in very safe hands with Mr Inglefield’s surgical expertise and patient care.

Surgery Day

I woke up early up in anticipation of the day that was ahead of me. I felt a little anxious of what the General Anaesthetic (GA) would feel like, having never experienced one or having been admitted to hospital before. I also had passing fear around the level of discomfort I would experience when I awoke from the surgery and during the next coming weeks.

I tried to keep my worries at bay and resist the urge to eat breakfast since being on a fast, so I occupied myself in putting a few things in place in preparation for my return home after surgery. So, I placed several ice packs in the freezer ready to sooth expected vaginal swelling and bruising post surgery, I got together a stock of light sanitary towels or panty liners, plenty of BIG Bridget Jones knickers at the ready and brought out all my comfy wear of tracksuit bottoms and sweaters to slouch in during my first week after surgery.

At 10:30am, I arrived at Queen Anne Street Medical Centre feeling a little tired and drowsy – the likely causes: a poor night’s sleep and having fasted for the last 12 hours. So I have to admit I was quite ready to go ‘out for the count’ into a deep sleep under a GA.

Mary saw my arrival and promptly escorted me from the waiting area into a private room. We went over a few medical questions, consent forms and then I proceeded to get changed into a surgical gown, disposable slippers and hair cap. The minute I got dressed in this hospital attire I became struck with nerves and felt a little pale and shaky. Mary must have seen my clear display of nerves and took hold of the situation by offering her support and re-assurance. I confessed to Mary my concerns of not having experienced the sensation of a GA before she promised to be by my side the entire time when it happened. Knowing this was the greatest comfort to me and put all my nerves at rest.

Mr Inglefield joined us in the room accompanied by his Anaesthetist Dr Irvine. We went over a last few final medical questions and checks before heading down the corridor to theatre.

As I entered theatre, I lay down on the surgical couch and Mary came and stood by my side and attentively held my hand. Mr Inglefield and Mary told me to, “relax and breathe deeply.” I took a deep inhalation and the last thing I remember is looking up at Mary before closing my eyes.

I woke up after my surgery feeling like I had the deepest sleep of my life. As I stirred and stretched a little in my hospital bed I soon realised that my entire vaginal region was completely numb. I didn’t experience any discomfort in the slightest which I had not anticipated. In fact, the only slight discomfort I felt was a sore throat, which the hospital nurse, Tim, informed me was caused from remove the ventilator tube from my mouth after the operation.

Tim told me that both Mr Inglefield and Mary had both come to check up on me whilst I was asleep, which I really appreciated and valued and demonstrated Mr Inglefield’s dedication to patient care.

After 20 minutes of being awake, I tucked into a hearty lunch and drank a large amount of water to re-hydrate. Afterwards, I drifted off to sleep feeling still drowsy and lethargic from the GA.

When I woke up the next time, I had a strong urgency to urinate. Tim helped me out of bed and held onto my arm to stabilise me as we walked slowly and carefully taking baby steps to reach the Lavatory. As I sat on the lavatory, I had to resist the temptation to part my legs and take a sneaky peak at my labia. However, Mary had warned me to try not to part your legs very far apart in these early stages in case of rupturing the very fine and delicate stitches. I obeyed her instructions and did not tempt fate. When I passed urine too my greatest relief there was no discomfort or stinging sensation. The only thing I noticed was a very small amount bloody discharge on my sanitary towel, which I had anticipated.

Soon, it was time for me to go home, having had 3-4 hours of hospital bed rest. I changed into my comfy loose tracksuit bottoms and comfy clothes and was then handed a post-op pack by Mary. The post-op pack contained a letter detailing all my post-operative appointments, an antibiotic ointment (Bactroban) to put on my labia daily, some homeopathic remedies to help the healing process and some pain killers to be taken if needed.

I left the Hospital in a taxi with my boyfriend who would keep an eye on me for the first 24 hrs. When we arrived home, I tackled the stairs to my bedroom at what felt to be a snail’s pace. I made sure to take mini-steps, keeping my legs and feet close to the ground to avoid overstepping which place more strain or pull on my delicate stitches. I took one painkiller as a precautionary measure before climbing into bed and drifted off to sleep.

Day 1 Post Op

In the morning, I woke up feeling well rested and without any feeling of discomfort or vaginal tenderness.

The sanitary towel which I had lined my underwear with overnight was only slightly soiled with the odd spotting of blood, which was to be expected after the first day of surgery.

Keen to freshen up, I decided to take my usual morning shower. However, this seemingly simple task in fact became my first challenge of the day. Until that moment, I hadn’t considered the potential challenge that my bath-shower suite would present to me in my post-op recovery. I soon realised that having to climb over the high sides of my bath to take a standing shower posed a great risk of over stepping i.e. raising my legs too high which could create unnecessary pulling and rupture of my newly fine and delicate stitches. To overcome the challenge of my bath suite, I created a step using several towels folded and lying on top of one another placed at the side of the bath. This step gave me some leverage to carefully lift one leg over and into the bath without raising it too high.

Once safely and successfully into the bath, I proceeded to take my standing shower and obeyed my post-op instructions to: AVOID THE USE OF ANY SOAP PRODUCTS for FIRST 2 WEEKS. When showering, I took care when washing my vagina for the first time, using the shower head upside down, and kept the pressure of the water low to avoid feeling vaginal tenderness from the swelling and bruising.

I have to admit, I found the post-op rule of not being allowed to use soap products a challenge. I realised how much I had grown accustomed to using soap products particularly aromatic shower gels in the morning to help make me feel more awake and refreshed.

Following my shower, I applied the prescribed Bactroban ointment over my outer labia and over the site of my stitches. The regimen of applying the Bactroban was to become a regular ritual of applying it every morning, every evening and after urinating to reduce the risk of infection.

When passing urine I did not experience any stinging sensation which I had anticipated as a possibility post-op. I believe this was largely due to my ritual of stepping into the shower and washing over my vagina with cool water from the shower head when passing urine.

Going up and down the stairs to my bedroom presented to be a similar challenge as climbing into and out of the bath to take a shower. I had go very slowly, taking very small steps keeping my feet as close to the ground as possible to avoid an exaggerated pull on my stitches and possible rupture when climbing or descending down the stairs.

By late afternoon, I began to experience some slight vaginal tenderness which could only be described as a dull ache accompanied by a heat sensation from the swelling and bruising of my outer labia. This slight discomfort did not urge the need to take pain killers. The perfect remedy to soothe the dull ache and lessen the heat sensation as a result of swelling of my outer labia was to use ice.

I equipped myself with an icepack from the freezer and wrapped a clean flannel around it. I then placed the icepack underneath my vagina and carefully perched on it (like a bird nesting on young hatchlings). In honesty, the icepack’s rigid rectangular shape was not at all comfortable to sit on. So within minutes I swapped the icepack for a bag of frozen peas instead which was far more comfortable and moulded to the contours of my vagina and sufficiently soothed and relieved the heat and dull ache I experienced.

Before going to bed that night I took 1 co-codamol and 4 hrs later 1 tramadol as a precautionary measure after having experiencing the dull ache and vaginal tenderness in the early afternoon.

Before shutting my eyes to go to sleep I did also have a passing worry. My worry was that perhaps during my sleep I would turn or roll not fully aware of my leg movements and risk pulling or worse rupturing my stitches. So I decided to ease my worry and sleep on my side in foetal position with a small pillow placed between my knees to lessen the likelihood of abruptly rolling or turning with my new stitches being so fine and delicate.

Day 2 Post Op

I awoke late in the morning having slept poorly due to be woken up at 3am by stomach aches and a feeling of bloating and acidity. Taking 2 pain killers before going to bed late last night were the likely cause of my symptoms as stomach upset, bloating and acidity are listed as common side effects.

My vagina still had a dull ache of tenderness and heat sensation accompanying the swelling and bruising. As I had done the previous day, I resorted to using a frozen bag of peas wrapped in a clean flannel to cool and sooth the moderate tenderness and swelling I experienced.

*TO NOTE: Throughout the day, I would use a bag of frozen peas to administer ice to the swelling of my outer labia for intermittent periods, spending no longer than 10-15 minutes at a time. In spite of the moderate tenderness and slight dull ache I experienced, which was easily managed with icing, I felt my body was healing well.

I drifted off to sleep throughout much of the day, as I felt extremely drowsy and which again was a likely side effect of having taken the pain killers the night before. Also I felt my body was seeking rest and sleep to help the process repair and healing.

By late evening, I had still not had a bowel movement since surgery 2 days ago. I noted that my abdomen resultantly felt swollen and bloated. I felt a little frustrated at having constipation as I thought I had made a real effort in eating plenty of vegetables and sources of fibre since the surgery. Yet, in honesty, I had not created a good habit of drinking litres of water at regular intervals throughout the day, which clearly did not help matters.

Day 3 Post Op

I awoke at 6am with the most severe migraine. It felt as though I could feel the blood pulsing beneath my temples which created such an excruciating headache I could barely open my eyes with the bedroom light on. Within a few minutes beads of sweat ran from my forehead and the pain caused me to me to convulse and vomit bile fluid.

I knew that this migraine was a likely symptom of my body being very dehydrated. I knew that I was partly responsible in failing to be more conscious of drinking water at regular intervals since surgery day, and also my body had likely accumulated a level of toxins from the GA and taking pain killers.

My boyfriend came to my rescue that morning when I was in the midst of my migraine episode. He mopped my brow with a cold flannel and encouraged me to sip on very bitter tasting cup of green tea (when you leave the green tea bag in too long in hot water). Sipping on bitter green tea proved to be the ultimate rescue remedy it reduced my urge of wanting to vomit and also I believe that due to green tea’s high antioxidant content it helped mop up any toxins within my body. Within 15 minutes of sipping this green tea and cooling my eyes with a cool flannel my migraine disappeared.

The migraine episode was a hard lesson learnt. I vowed to drink more water regularly from that day onwards and to help me achieve this I thought it would be a good idea to place a 2 litre bottle of water by my bedside and on my desk to prompt me to drink regularly throughout the day.

I felt totally washed out and drained by the migraine that I spent much of the day in bed resting and drifting off to sleeping now and again.

Towards the late afternoon/early evening, the heat sensation from the swelling of my outer labia became heightened so I administered my usual icing regimen (frozen bag of peas wrapped around with a clean flannel), which soon soothed and cooled the swelling and heat.

I have to say I was struggling with the confinement of resting in bed a lot and very minimal activity as I am someone who walks a great deal and enjoys regular exercise. Although initially I had looked forward to enjoying resting and recouping in bed for days but in honesty, the feeling of boredom often took over and you can only watch so many movies… Despite my frustration of my confinement to rest and not being able to satisfy by yearning to go on a long walk in the sunshine, which streamed through my bedroom window, I felt a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for my good health and mobility.

Day 4 Post Op

My outer labia was noticeably less swollen and no longer emitting heat either.

Having lessened swelling of my labia, meant for the first time my stitches were far more detectable and every now and they would produce a little tug sensation when getting into and out of bed, walking and climbing the stairs. This sensation did not cause any discomfort at all it was simply a new sensation which every now and then would draw my attention to the presence of my stitches. The dull ache and tenderness of my outer labia from bruising had lessened a fair amount.

*TO NOTE: I had not taken any pain killers since day 1 post surgery.

My energy levels were the highest they had been since my surgery so I decided to be a little more active. I began by pacing the floor of my bedroom several times remaining cautious to ensure I walked taking shorter than average steps. Encouraged by my progress, on impulse, I decided to take a short 10minute walk to the local shop to stock my bare cupboards

When I walked to the shop, I felt as free as bird leaving the confines of my bedroom and house behind for the first time since surgery.

At first, I walked at my cautionary slow pace and short stride, and then mistakenly swung into my usual stride within minutes completely forgetting to take slowly. When I arrived at the shop and began walking the aisles I felt a soreness and irritation at the site of my stitches.

Panicking in fear that I had pushed myself too much too soon, I didn’t spend long in the shop. I walked back my house incredibly slowly and tentatively climbed the flight of stairs to my bedroom, as I did so; I felt a discharge on my underwear. When I got into my bedroom I observed a spotting of fresh new blood inside my underwear. So, I lined my underwear with a sanitary towel in case of any more spotting later on in the day.

In the afternoon, there was still the odd bit of spotting of blood on my disposable underwear, which made me very anxious and was plagued with the thought that perhaps I had ruptured one of my stitches.

In the late afternoon, the soreness I had experienced earlier at the site of my stitches returned and was quite considerable, however I felt the discomfort was manageable and I did not feel it was necessary to take a pain killer.

When passing urine it stung for the very first time. I have to say that this stinging/burning sensation when urinating was the first real discomfort I had experienced since having the surgery.

When I had the urgency to urinate later in the day I ensured to hop in the shower and have the shower head at the ready to wash over cool water at a low pressure whilst urinating which e took the edge off the burning and stinging sensation quite considerably.

Another precautionary measure I decided to follow was to regularly apply Bactroban ointment more so than I had done before to reduce potential risk of infection.

I went to bed that night sick with worry and wondered what would be the consequences if I had ruptured a stitch. I wondered was I more at risk of infection? And have I compromised the healing and the aesthetic appearance of my labia?

I made up my mind that evening; if the spotting of blood and stinging sensation when urinating persisted over the next two days I would call Mary to schedule an earlier post-op appointment with Mr Inglefield.

Day 5 Post Op

I woke up in a mixed sort of mood, anxious and worried about my healing progress, concerns still remained about the possibility having ruptured a stitch. However, I was relieved to find no evidence of fresh spotting of blood on my sanitary towel.

The soreness at the site of my stitches which I had experienced the day before felt considerably less and all that remained was tenderness from the bruising of my outer labia.

I decided to give myself a motivational booster that morning. It all started by taking a cleansing shower, I then washed and blow dried my hair nicely and instead of changing into my usual comfy slouchy track suit bottoms and t-shirt I opted for one of my favourite summer dresses. This change of attire and attention to grooming made me feel more attractive, presentable and back to my usual self. In fact it proved to lift my mood and raised my spirits for the entire afternoon.

When changing into my dress earlier on, I couldn’t help but notice the intriguing patchwork array of black/ blue and deep purple bruising on my outer labia which could only be described as comical.

By the evening, there was still no fresh spotting of blood and the soreness at the site of the stitches remained very minimal.

I went to sleep that evening less anxious, I had ensured to rest and to avoid over doing it and had greater faith that my healing was back on track.

Day 6 Post Op

I woke up in a positive mood; as I was still without spotting of blood and no longer experienced and the soreness at the site of my stitches, all that remained was the tenderness mentally prepared for returning to work tomorrow.

The two girls I lived with suggested that we go out for a lunch to celebrate the fact I had almost completed my first week of recovery after my surgery.

*NOTE ON: TELLING MY HOUSE MATES ABOUT MY SURGERY. There was no hiding my surgery from my housemates as we were all very close. In honesty, even if I hadn’t told them I’d say it would be near enough impossible for my surgery to go undetected. I mean having an exaggerated shortened step shuffle when walking or climbing the stairs and being relatively bed bound state for the first few days would have certainly not gone unquestioned. Telling my house mates proved to be a real comfort as they really were supportive.

The suggestion to go out to lunch was not only a plausible excuse to leave the house, but also I felt, that by doing a bit of walking I would be better prepared for my return to work which demanded a 10-15 minute walk to and from the underground station to my office.

After taking the underground, my house mates and I arrived at the cafe for lunch. We all gathered around the table and took our seats. Having a tender and sensitive vagina presented the challenge of attempting to find a comfortable position seated in a chair. I found that if I position myself at the very edge of my seat so that I was balancing on the bony part of my bottom it really helped to avoid experiencing direct pressure on my tender vagina.

When getting up from my chair, I discovered that if I rocked myself forward to a standing position it proved much more comfortable and again reduced vaginal tenderness.

I decided to walk home from the cafe as it was only a 25 minute walk which I felt was not too far nor would pose any threat to my healing recovery. Unknowingly, within 15 minutes of walking I experienced an unbearable soreness at the site of my stitches.

By the time I got home, the soreness had worsened to a severe throbbing of burning and sharp stinging which on a pain scale was around an 8/9 if a score of 10 is the worse pain. I quite literally hobbled up the stairs to the bathroom to discover small spotting of blood on my underwear. To lessen the throbbing and sharp stinging sensation I hopped into the shower and used the shower head to wash cool over my vagina and did this for at least 10 minutes. Afterwards, I then applied a generous amount of Bactroban ointment to my outer labia and the site of my stitches.

I took 2 Paracetemol to help lessen the severity of the burning, throbbing and stinging sensation and then I got into bed and stayed there for the rest of the day.

Before I fell asleep my mind raced with worry of going back to work, as I was clearly not in the best state of my healing and recovery. So, I decided that when I got into my work first thing tomorrow I would in confidence explain to my manager my situation and then schedule an immediate appointment to see Mr. Inglefield that same day.

Day 7 Healing

When I awoke my mind was filled with anticipation of seeing Mr Inglefield and worry concerning managing my discomfort at work, as my vagina still remained considerably sore and tender and upon passing urine that morning the stinging sensation was relatively mild compared to the previous day (discomfort level 5 out of 10)

I dressed in my usual work attire but ensured to wear a looser fitting, low seamed work trouser to avoid further irritation of my tender vagina.

I found the 10-15 minute walk from the tube to my office triggered a slight throbbing pain sensation at the site of the stitches (discomfort level 7 out of 10) and also increased level of heat and swelling in the same area.

When I arrived at my office, I took 2 Paracetamol in attempt to dull the tender throbbing sensation I felt. I spoke to my manager and then telephoned Mr Inglefield’s office first thing and within 5 minutes an appointment had been scheduled to see him that morning.

I went by taxi to Mr Inglefield’s clinic and arrived there in good time. Very promptly i was escorted into Mr. Inglefield’s room by Mary. I described to them the sensations and discomfort I had experienced as well as the spotting of blood.

After a brief examination, Mr Inglefield confirmed my worse fear that I had ruptured a suture which was the cause of the spotting and the discomfort. Mr Inglefield was very re-assuring and told me that there was little to worry about as it would heal of its own accord. He advised me to rest as much as I could and not too walk too far if I could avoid doing so. He also informed me and would not compromise the aesthetic appearance.

Mr Inglefield gave me so more Bactroban ointment, and instructed me to apply it at regularly throughout the day and over the next 7 days. After those 7 days I was to return to see him for my 2 week post op appointment.

Mary also advised me to walk around the house without underwear for an hour or so when I got home in the evenings. As the warm moist environment created by the present swelling and heat could harbour and encourage infection.

I have to say that Mary and Mr Inglefield incredible positivity and re-assurance was a great comfort to me and lifted my spirits on my return back to my office.

After a few hours of having arrived at work, the swelling, heat and slight tenderness returned. I had to resort to using some ice packs which had brought from home and surreptitiously sit on them whilst seated at my desk. To my good fortune there was little embarrassment or questioning in the office as it is an all female office.

Throughout the day, I managed my discomfort by taking 2 Paracetamol, which helped a great deal in reduce the soreness.

When I finally got home after work, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment that I had tackled my first day back at work in my recovery and slept peacefully that night.

Week 2

I felt it to be imperative that I really got back on track with my healing following my ruptured stitch. So, I put together an action plan for the week to help me accomplish this goal.

My Action plan:

* I made sure to walk only short distances that would take no longer than 10 minutes in duration.

*I was cautious to take very small steps in my stride and move at a very slow pace when walking and climbing stairs.

*I cancelled my recreational activities of singing practice and Spanish lessons that week, as they both involved a considerable amount of travelling to get from my flat to their location which I wanted to avoid.

*I encouraged myself to go into work that even though I still experienced some tenderness and minor discomfort. Going to work proved to be a real help in occupying my mind from any doubts or worries I had concerning the healing of my tear.

*I made sure to routinely drink Fibrogel daily and made sure to eat high fibre foods including dried prunes and apricots to help regulate my bowl movements and relieve the intermittent constipation I experienced.

*At home, I continued the daily regimen of applying ice to soothe vaginal tenderness and reduce swelling, applying Bactroban ointment morning and night.

* I followed Mary’s instructions to go without underwear in the evenings within the privacy of my bedroom, which would help speed up the healing of my tear/ruptured stitch.

*On the weekend I rested in bed and kept my activity to a minimum.

I saw the positive results of all my efforts in the week almost instantaneously, after two days the spotting of blood ceased, my swelling, bruising and heat sensation rapidly diminished, and the stinging sensation experienced when passing urine had almost disappeared

During that week, each day I held a mirror to reveal the daily changes in my vagina’s appearance. I took great interest in observing the ever changing colour and pattern of the bruising on my outer labia. I admit that it was the first time I held a mirror to my vagina without experiencing a feeling of dissatisfaction in its appearance.

In putting a great level of time, care and attention into the process of encouraging the recovery and healing of my labia over that week, it helped me finally form a healthy and happy relationship with my vagina. A stark contrast to how I felt before having the surgery, whereby I virtually mentally disowned my inner labia due to feeling unhappy over its appearance and the discomfort it gave me.

At the end of the week, my 2week post op appointment with Mr Inglefield arrived and to my complete and utter joy he confirmed that my little tear had knitted together beautifully and it had not compromised in the slightest the aesthetic appearance of my labia. He also confirmed I could return to using soap, bath or shower gel products in the shower, which I was very pleased about!

Weeks 3-8

Weeks 3-4

Between these weeks my recovery sped along at a fast pace.

I made full use of being allowed to soak in bath to unwind at the end of the day and use my favourite body scrubs and bubble baths, a luxury which I had sorely missed in the first 2 weeks of my recovery.

I no longer experienced any discomfort or stinging sensation when passing urine.

I continued to use the Bactroban ointment both morning and night as a precautionary measure following my tear and ensure it healed without infection.

Not having to refrain from walking at a normal, regular pace provided me with such a feeling of appreciation of having my full mobility returned. I felt I would never take my mobility for granted ever again.

Also sitting down and getting up from a chair or out of bed was no longer a challenge either.

At this point, I had almost forgotten entirely any of the discomfort I had previously experienced in the early days after my surgery.

Weeks 5-6

In these weeks, I developed a healthy obsession of looking at my vagina with pride in the mirror. I was in adoration of its new appearance. I had to keep resisting a passing thought of wanting to walk around naked to display proudly my Labia’s perfectly smooth contour without the interruption of a protruding inner labia.

I grew excited over the thought of booking my very first bikini wax with a beautician once I had seen Mr Inglefield for my final 6 week post op appointment. I counted down the days till its arrival.

At last my 6 week post op did arrive and Mr Inglefield was delighted with the overall aesthetic appearance of my Labia and he informed me that I could resume sexual activity. I shared with him how exceedingly happy I was with results of my surgery and I walked away from the consulting room in high spirits and wore a beaming smile on my face for the rest of that day.

Week 7-8

‘Honesty is the Best Policy’: On the subject of resuming sexual activity

At the 6 weeks mark, after being given the’ go ahead’ by Mr. Inglefield at my last post-op check up I have to admit all attempts of penetration caused an uncomfortable sharp pulling at the site of the vaginal entry where my stitches had been previously.

I decided to telephone Mr Inglefield’s nurse Mary and speak to her in confidence to ask her advice. Mary told me that my experience was quite common, as quite often when any wound heals it can develop some thickened scar tissue. She advised me to attempt to firmly massage the scar tissue to encouraging it to soften and stretch, which would then ease penetration.

Following Mary’s advice, I decided to purchase a small vibrator and lubricant to gradually introduce and gently stretch the scar tissue at the vaginal entry. I did this manual massage a little over a week and refrained from intercourse during that time.

This method proved to be successful by completely eradicating any discomfort I had initially felt.

My Final Reflection

I would tell anyone out there who can relate to my story and are considering embarking upon the same journey as me, to hesitate no longer.

Drawing from my own personal experience, I can tell you that having a Labiaplasty will undoubtedly change your life, enriching you with a newly found body confidence and restore physical comfort.

You should look no further than London Bridge Plastic Surgery, as Mr. Inglefield and his medical team will provide you with the best surgical expertise, and immense care and support, which I received every step of the way.

My Top Tips:

  • I would recommend taking a minimum of 5-7 days off work for your recovery as within that first week your vagina will remain tender and sensitive due to initial swelling and bruising.
  • Underwear – prepare to wear: ‘BIG BRIDGET JONES PANTS’ –THE LOOSER THE BETTER up until 6 weeks after your surgery . In honesty, some people may not find these pants very attractive but they gain merit on the fact they are comfortable and do not irritate or over sensitise your healing Labia.
  • Take care to rest in bed for at least 3 days immediately after your surgery.
  • In first 5-7 days- Prepare to wear loose, low crotched trousers (track suit bottoms are ideal).
  • In first 5-7 days, In case of experiencing any mild stinging sensation when passing urine- Best to pre-warn your spouse, boyfriend or house mates that you may have to urinate in the shower (Tip: Use the shower head on low pressure to wash cool water over the vagina while urinating which proves to be very soothing and takes the edge off the sting)
  • Application of Ice during first 7-10 days- I would recommend using a bag of peas with a clean flannel or towel wrapped around rather than using solid rectangular ice packs as they proved to be incredibly uncomfortable to sit on.
  • During your first 7-10 days – Keep your strides when climbing or walking to a minimum i.e. take mini-steps to avoid unnecessary risk of pulling and possible rupture of your very delicate stitches. REMEMBER: TAKE IT EASY and GO SLOWLY.
  • During your first 7-10 days- Adapt your sitting position on a chair. See Instructions below :

    *AVOID: your regular sitting position where usually your spine will rest into the back of your chair.

    * THE BETTER ALTERNATIVE: try coming forward to the very edge of your seat, and perch there so that you are balancing on the bony part of your bottom (the seat bones) with both feet on the ground and your legs at a 90 degree angle. This positioning really helps to avoid experiencing direct pressure on your tender and sensitive vagina whilst sitting.

  • Try to increase your fluid intake and dietary fibre following your surgery to avoid dehydration and constipation. I would recommend using either ‘Fibrogel’ or eating dried prunes and apricots which are high in fibre to ensure regularity of your bowel movement.
  • After your final 6 week post op check up with Mr Inglefield and you have been given the green lights to resume sexual activity. Before initiating your sexual activities, I would recommend purchasing a small vibrator and lubricant to introduce firm massage at the vaginal entrance to help soften any scar tissue that may have formed and this will help ensure penetration is more comfortable.

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Mr. Christopher Inglefield

Mr. Christopher Inglefield BSc, MBBS, FRCS(Plast) was born in Trinidad, West Indies, and obtained his Medical Degree from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and Trinidad in 1985.

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