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I had a C section-Why can’t I use tampons?

Here’s something I learned only a few weeks ago.

I’d been thinking about my c section and comparing it to the LM’s vaginal delivery.  Obviously the two experiences are, overall, quite different, but one thing remained consistent–NO TAMPONS during the lochia bleeding post-delivery.

I understood what the risks were with tampons and vaginal delivery-the cervix had been opened, and there was an open wound where the placenta had been attached to the uterine wall-creating potential for infection.  I also had torn during my delivery and had stitches in my vaginal wall, creating another spot vulnerable to infection.

But why couldn’t I use them now?  Hadn’t I gotten cut open, completely bypassing that whole “cervix opened” issue?

I asked my OB, and it turns out that during the c-section, they open your cervix anyway, to help aid with the passing of the lochia.  Internet research says that not all doctors do this, so it may be okay’ed your individual physician.  However, it’s worth noting that you still have an open wound at the spot where your placenta connected to the uterus, and that it remains at high risk for an infection.

So, inconvenient, messy, and just kind of gross or not…best to use a pad after delivery for the few weeks that you’ll bleed.  Once you’ve stopped and your “normal” period returns (which can take up to six months if you breastfeed), you’re welcome to return to other methods of blood collection like tampons/diva cups/what have you.

For the record, I’m not being paid to recommend these, but with this birth I used the loquaciously named “Always Extra Heavy Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings”  and found that unlike after E where I put two pads (one front, one back, kind of overlapping in the middle) on, I had very little staining and only had to throw out one pair of panties.  They’re easily found in the US, but I had to bring them back as I couldn’t find a product with equivalent coverage here in Singapore.

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