Q&A: Doctor says I have skin tags on my vagina. What are they?
I just visited my doctor because I saw some funny looking bumps/growths on (inside) my vagina. He told me they were skin tags and nothing to worry about. He also mentioned that my anatomy has changed a lot since I had my baby (vaginally in several years ago). Are these skin tags common after childbirth? I've never heard about them before except during pregnancy. Should I get a second opinion?
What he’s describing are probably remnants of the hymeneal ring. For a young girl, the hymen is a membrane designed to perforate in the center, with resulting tears extending out toward the perimeter of the entrance of the vagina. Intercourse is famous for doing this very thing, and the hymen has been important in many cultures in the act of consummating a marriage. But the hymen can be pretty flimsy, and athletic girls may find its central perforation already enlarged before sexual activity begins. Tampon use has certainly made less important this “sealed” symbol of virginity. Horseback riding, gymnastics, and other physical sports can produce enough tension to disrupt the intact hymen as well. You could imagine what a baby can do to it!
So your doctor is right, your anatomy has in fact changed a lot since your baby. Remnants of the hymen will be noticeable as tags, sometimes slender, at the entrance to the vagina. Sometimes it’s not unusual for one to become swollen and inflamed, which is usually when most women get concerned about it and seek a doctor’s opinion.
The hymeneal remnants are a metaphor for your entrance into real life. And nothing will demonstrate that more dramatically than raising your new baby.