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Ask An Expert: How Long Does It Take For An Episiotomy To Heal?

Our team of seasoned experts answer all your questions on pregnancy, delivery, children and women’s health, sexuality education and more.

Q: How long does it take for an episiotomy to heal? It’s been three weeks and mine still hurts as hell. I’m suspecting it wasn’t properly sutured.

Dr. Alex Kaoranu Molukwu (OB/GYN) says:

The time it takes varies. A small episiotomy heals faster than a big ‘generous’ one. The stitches usually dissolve in ten (10) to fourteen (14) days.

Your prenatal nutritional status as well as the character of your labour and delivery will influence your healing ability.  A difficult delivery often associated with soiling of the perineum predisposes to prolonged healing.

In addition, anaemia may delay your healing ability. Sickle cell disease is another cause of delay. Also, smoking of cigarette and drinking of alcohol will adversely affect your healing ability. Poor or noncompliance to prescribed drug intake, diabetes mellitus, obesity, poor personal hygiene, the use of poor quality or infected sanitary pad will prolong the healing of your episiotomy. The use of steroids also have adverse effects.

Proper use of sitz-bath and radiant heat is soothing and promotes quick healing of episiotomy.

Q: My wife is almost 31 years old and has had 6 miscarriages in the last 5 years we’ve been married. She lost all pregnancies between the first and third month. I’m wondering if this could have anything to do with the tiny cysts removed from her right ovary when she was 23. Kindly advice on the way forward.

Dr. Alex Kaoranu Molukwu (OB/GYN) says:

I am deeply touched by your history of six (6) miscarriages by your courageous wife in the last five (5) years.

I normally advise patients to seek to know what caused a miscarriage by sending the product of conception for pathological studies.

I strongly suspect that hormone imbalance or insufficiency might have been responsible for the miscarriages. There are millions of people with one ovary each who are happy and successful parents.

I suspect that the tiny right ovarian cysts removed were not sent to the labouratory for further studies. The result therein might have showed if your wife has poorly developed, immature ovaries which might lead to immature eggs (ova) and hence abnormal genes which might have been responsible for repeated early miscarriages.

The way forward is for you and your wife to see a specialist for a complete appraisal. Permit me to highlight here that your age may also be a causative factor; paternal old age often has adverse effect on pregnancy outcome.

Your specialist may in fact subject you and your wife to genetic studies to exclude any possible incompatibility.

There are specialised studies that will reveal the structural state of your wife’s womb to exclude defects and abnormal growths.

Overwhelming infection in the lining of the womb can cause miscarriages. The lifestyle of your wife will be closely examined; does she smoke cigarette, drink alcohol or does she indulge in self medication and treatment which can lead to miscarriages. She might also be a victim of occupational hazard.

There are several systemic medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, sickle cell disease, thyroid crisis that can cause pregnancy loss.

I wish to assure you here that your case is not a hopeless one.

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“Ask An Expert: How Long Does It Take For An Episiotomy To Heal?”

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