Stitches - Caesarean
Stitches to the genitals
If you experienced a vaginal tear or episiotomy, then it is likely you will have some stitches and caring for your perineum will be an important issue for you. It may help you to know that a woman's genital area is similar in type to the skin and tissue in the human mouth. If you have ever injured your mouth, you will know that it can bleed heavily, swell immensely (like a 'fat lip'), but also have an amazing capacity to heal well on its own.
Vaginal stitches can be of various types, but all will dissolve over a period of a few weeks to a couple of months (depending on the suture material used). Vaginal stitches do not need to be routinely taken out. However, if your stitches are feeling 'tight', or are giving you the sensation that they are 'pulling' after a few days, then you may need to see your caregiver (or local doctor) about cutting one or two, to release the tension.
The stitches usually need no extra care. Normal daily hygiene, such as a bath or shower, and gently patting the area dry with a soft towel, is adequate. You may wish to shower or bathe more regularly, or after opening your bowels. Your caregiver will check your stitches daily, while you are in the hospital (or having home visits), to make sure they are healing well.