After years of painful sex, this 23-year-old mum found out she had been given ‘husband point’ without her consent

Have you ever heard of “husband stitch” or “daddy stitch”? This refers to when doctors suture a person’s perineum with extra stitches after childbirth, which makes the opening of the vagina “tighter” during sex.

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It’s called a “husband point” because its main purpose is usually considered to be a benefit to that sexual partner.

The “husband stitch” isn’t a procedure with an approved medical name, and some people don’t know they’ve had one until it has already happened – or even there is a medical name. slang for such a thing.

One such person is TikTok user Hannah (@hannahhhleigh_). The 23-year-old recently discovered – after years of pain and a sudden realization – that she had already received a stitch from her husband.

In the video, Hannah says she saw another video of a woman on TikTok explaining what a husband point is, and “it all made sense” when she considered her own postpartum experience. Hannah explains: “I gave birth to my son… in 2019 on a military base in hospital. I had a second degree tear with my son – that’s common. Either way, they have to stitch you up after your tear, right? Well, I got sewn up, they didn’t tell me.” She adds: “I went for my six week postpartum checkup and they said everything looked fine.” Once Hannah was allowed to start having sex with her husband again, she said, “I noticed that when we [had sex]it was extremely uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful.”

Screenshots of a TikTok by user hannahhhleigh_

When she told her OB-GYN about it, she was told that it was normal and that her “hormones are out of whack” and she would just have to use “additional lubrication.”

Hannah says, “Me, being a first-time mom…I just took the suggestion and was like, ‘Okay, this must be normal.’ I suffered from pain and discomfort for two years.” After moving, she saw a new OB-GYN in preparation for the birth of her second child. During Hannah’s Pap test, the new OB-GYN examined Hannah before asking her if she had “issues” with anything inserted into her.

@hannahhhleigh_ / Via tiktok.com

Hannah went on to explain her issues of the past two years. Hannah says in the video, “She [the OB-GYN] was like, ‘I know why you have these problems. It’s as clear as day: you’ve been sewn wrong. “”Hannah says her new OB-GYN explained that her vagina opening was much smaller than it should be and there was a lot of scar tissue. While Hannah clarifies that the OB-GYN did not specifically tell her that she had a husband’s stitch, she expresses confusion about how her problem had not previously been detected.

Screenshots of a TikTok by user hannahhhleigh_

Hannah explains that after seeing the video on TikTok and recognizing herself in the experience, it became clear to her that she had received a husband point.

Hannah adds that after giving birth to her second child and tearing again, her new OB-GYN was able to remove unnecessary scar tissue and stitch her up properly. Hannah adds that she has had no problems since.

After seeing the original video which made her realize she had already received a husband stitch, Hannah says, “[When I] discovered that what happened to me has a name and i saw all the horror stories that happened, just like it happened to me, without knowing it [and] without [my] consent… like, it’s terrifying.”

@hannahhhleigh_ / Via tiktok.com

Hannah’s original video has 2.4 million views, 103,600 likes and a comments section full of people sharing their own thoughts and feelings about being married.

The comments section on a video by hannahhhleigh_

I spoke with Hannah, who added that in addition to experiencing discomfort and pain during sex, she had issues with daily activities like inserting a tampon and even sitting up. She said, “It took me a long time to heal after the birth…I know it might be normal right after the birth, but it took a long time after the fact.”

Hannah said that after being told by her former doctor that her pain and discomfort were normal, she was actually comforted when the second OB-GYN explained that something was wrong. Hannah said: “I was extremely relieved to have finally received an answer and a solution to the problem.”

A Pap test in a gynecologist's office

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Hannah described watching the TikTok video she repeatedly encountered on the verge of husband and explained, “I was frankly in shock. Neither my husband nor I knew it was even a thing. , let alone that it was common or had a name. I probably watched the video about 10 times, comparing what it said to my past situation, in complete disbelief.

A pregnant person holds her belly in a hospital bed

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For more context, I spoke with Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine. Minkin said while the term “husband stitch” is slang, it’s not necessarily a new term — she had heard the term as a resident in her late 70s.

Mary Jane Minkin standing in front of a framed New York Times article on a wall depicting her

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin

Minkin said that in his experience the phrase referred to a singular extra stitch made at the top of a vagina, given to a patient after an episiotomy – a surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina to help childbirth – to tighten the vagina . She said, “We called it the husband’s point because it felt like after a few kids, the husband wouldn’t enjoy sex as much. So they would make it a little tighter for his benefit.”

A pregnant woman is lying on an operating table

After a patient’s episiotomy or even after a normal tear during childbirth, Minkin emphasized, the goal is to return the patient’s vagina as close as possible to the anatomy it had before the tear. She said the goal was “to pull the vagina together and give it good support. You want to make it tight enough for the patient to be comfortable, but don’t do anything too tight.”

Fatcamera / Getty Images

Since the vagina naturally stretches during childbirth, Minkin said she has had patients specifically request to be sewn tighter, usually after having had a few children. However, she added that in the case of the husband’s stitch, “the main benefit is for the partner”. Minkin said it’s important that you tell your doctor if you experience any pain or discomfort.

A pregnant woman talks to her doctor

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Hannah said she took some time to consider whether to share her experience on TikTok, but ultimately decided, “If I had the opportunity to raise awareness on the subject, I should take it, even if it meant being vulnerable.” She also added that she was stunned by the number of views and comments the video received, and said, “I had such a small platform at the time that it really wasn’t planned.”

A gynecologist's office

One of the most common questions Hannah says she’s received from commenters is whether she’s ever confronted the doctor who she says gave her husband’s stitch in the first place, but Hannah said that she had never thought of it. She explained, “It happened in Alaska almost three years ago now. We carried on with our lives. I’m just glad it was fixed and I’m not suffering from it anymore.”

Jazzirt / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Hannah also encouraged others who think they may be struggling with a similar issue to advocate for themselves and explained, “You are your best advocate because you know your body best. If your OB-GYN, your primary care physician , etc. Don’t listen to your concerns, get a second opinion Heck, get a third, fourth or fifth if you need it Pain is not normal and you shouldn’t have to live with it .

You can follow Hannah on her TikTok and Minkin on her educational website here.

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