The body prepares for delivery by releasing hormones from the placenta and making the vagina more elastic and wider. A warm sitz bath helps the vagina to recover from stretching, tissue damage, and lacerations from the fetus. It also reduces pain from the perineal region (i.e., perineum, the space between anus and the vulva), promotes blood circulation, and helps the vagina to heal.
Pudendum and vaginal changes
# Labia: After pregnancy, the outside (labia majora) is less prominent, wider, and opened, making it less obvious; the inside (labium minora) becomes distinct and more prominent.
# Hymen: The hymen, which breaks during first intercourse, exists partially until childbirth. After natural delivery, the hymen tissue is no longer visible and there are only small traces remaining in most women.
# Vagina: A widened vagina will become narrower with time but will still be wider than it was before pregnancy. Before undergoing a natural birth, the vagina has wrinkles; after delivery the wrinkles are less prominent and the vagina becomes smooth.
Contractile force of the vaginal muscle
# The relationship between the stretching of the vagina after childbirth and sex is a concern for couples.
# The contractile force of the vaginal muscle is not the only requirement for good sex, but it is helpful if it is somewhat tight.
# The vaginal muscle does not contract independently, but instead is linked to other muscles in the perineal region, including the rectum, which contract and relax simultaneously.
Exercises for the vaginal muscles
# Like other muscles, the vagina must be exercised to improve contractibility. The rectum, anus, perineal region, pelvis, and diaphragm muscles can be strengthened at the same time to a certain extent.
# Doing Kegel exercises, in which the vaginal muscles are clenched (narrow and tighten anus and vagina and then squeeze upward) for 10 seconds, released 10, and repeated 10 times, can help considerably in restoring the size, shape, and contractibility of the uterus.