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Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming! Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming!

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Unread 01-02-2012, 05:07 AM
Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming!

Hi all! I have been reading this site religiously and have noticed you all have had to wait for a bath. My dr says I can bathe/ swim as soon as external repair sutures are gone after my TVH as he says the vagina is a water tight organ?? Any thoughts?
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Unread 01-02-2012, 07:02 AM
Re: Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming!

Hi there!

I think it depends on whether the cervix stays or goes. If it goes, the top of the vagina needs to be stitched to keep the insides in and the outside out!

I had my cervix removed and I've had a small bit of vaginal bleeding daily since the surgery. My clinical nurse specialist said that it's normal and it happens because blood will leak out until the stitches at the top of the vagina have healed. Until the vaginal bleeding stops (this can take 4-6 weeks, post-op), she says no soaking in baths, no swimming and no sticking anything in the vagina...mostly because of the risk of infection, but also because it can be uncomfortable.

I feel great, but I'm guessing I'm not 'waterproof' until I'm not bleeding anymore.

Hope this helps!
Unread 01-02-2012, 12:25 PM
Re: Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming!

Ah - The Minx beat me to it.

Yes, your vagina is waterproof - the stitches at the top are not. Even if you keep your cervix, the opening at the top is sealed somehow and I expect it isn't waterproof either until it heals.

Personally, I would err on the side of caution and stay our of the water for a few weeks. Soapy bath water or chlorinated pool water is not something I would like seeping into my abdominal cavity. Just saying.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 11:21 PM
Re: Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming!

I was instructed by my doctor to stay away from tubs/pools/hot tubs until he released me during my initial post-op period. For me, it was 6 weeks. It wasn't about my vagina being 'waterproof', it was a risk for infection that concerned my doctor.

Best wishes!

Unread 01-03-2012, 05:59 AM
Re: Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming!

Yep.....I think we're all being told the same thing but in different ways....

My nurse said that if the vaginal vault hasn't healed yet, then it is possible for outside water etc. to get into the abdominal cavity and cause an infection. Some people get told a time when the healing will be finished, probably the average time for the sutures to heal, but others are told that it's okay when the vaginal bleeding stops, basically I think because if you're bleeding, you haven't healed yet. Probably the safest thing is to pay attention to what your body is doing. If there's no bleeding, then your doctor will probably tell you 4-6 weeks and release you sometime around then. If you're still bleeding around the 4 week mark, like I am, then they will tell you to wait until it has stopped. I've decided to wait until I've stopped bleeding *and* until after week 6, just to be on the safe side. I have a nice bottle of bubble bath lined up for week 7!!!
Unread 01-03-2012, 06:38 AM
Re: Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming!

Hey the minx... How far out are you and still bleeding? Can I ask what procedures you had?
Unread 01-03-2012, 06:49 AM
Re: Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming!

Originally Posted by Shelleybelley View Post
Hey the minx... How far out are you and still bleeding? Can I ask what procedures you had?
I was 4 weeks yesterday. For the last day or two, it's mostly just spotting rather than bleeding and it is tiny amounts, but it is fresh blood.

I had a laparoscopic hysterectomy, with my remaining ovary removed and also my tubes and cervix taken out. It was a combined procedure with a gynaecologist and a colorectal surgeon because I also had a laparoscopic anterior bowel resection at the same time (my dopey ovary was stuck to everything it could find to stick to, including my bowel. Endometriosis....Sigh.)
Unread 01-03-2012, 08:52 AM
Re: Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming!

I had a total abdominal hyster and had no blood after 4 days. It didn't mean I was healed by any stretch of the imagination.

Think of a scab on a skinned knee. Water softens it and too much activity can cause it to break open again.

Your vaginal cuff or cervical closure will be similar - think of your stitches as the scab. How will soapy water or pool chemicals affect the rate they dissolve? Are they water tight? Doubtful. Wait.

I was cleared at 6 weeks, others have had to wait until 8 weeks or longer. Everyone heals differently and every situation is unique.
Unread 01-03-2012, 05:22 PM
Re: Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming!

It's strange isn't it how doctors opinions vary.
I have to say, my gyno comes across a little blasé about the whole thing! He has an "0h I've done thousands" kind of attitude, which although is comforting, also means he glosses over certain points.
I have another appointment today with him and will try to get some definite do' and don'ts out of him.
Essentially I was told to use my common sense, expect 4 weeks min off work and that's that!
I am booked to go to bali for valentines with my lovely dh on feb 10 - 4 weeks exactly from my TVH and dr seems to think I will be fine to swim and even resume sex.

9 days to go and I am officially myself!
Unread 01-03-2012, 05:34 PM
Re: Waterproof vaginas and baths/swimming!

Mine is lovely. He is not blasé at all about it and I have worked really closely with him to work out how long to wait for this surgery, how to tweak the hormones etc., so I have the greatest of confidence in what he says. He basically said I am a good judge of my body and fitness and can do what I want when I feel I can sensibly do it. My recovery has been textbook and he was ecstatic when he found me out and about in jeans at day 7 post-op.

I'm trying to remember if I specifically told him I had vaginal bleeding when I saw him at 2 weeks post-op to have my stents out. He did say that laparoscopic surgery is so much less invasive and the recovery is so much faster, yet he has trouble getting ward nurses to accept this. I wonder if his patients are told one thing by him and another thing by the nurses. I get the feeling that he's spent a huge amount of time getting technically superb to reduce the problems for his patients and was a little bit irritated to find they're being told the same recovery information as someone who has a laparotomy.

I really don't know how to judge it and I wish I did! My money's on what he says, but then I'm also inclined to err on the side of caution. I think that I will call his office tomorrow and pass my questions through to him....I always get a reply. I'll find out what's what and report back. He is very good at responding to my questions and he always understands that I need to know *why* as well as *what*, so he's pretty good with the information he gives me!

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