What is perineal relaxation and perineorrhaphy?

Perineal relaxation is a condition in which the opening to the vagina is stretched and relaxed. The muscles of the perineum weaken, resulting in an increased caliber of the vaginal opening. Some women describe this as a feeling of “vaginal looseness” or feel that there is decreased sensation during intercourse.

The pictures below show the appearance of the opening into the vagina before and after perineorrhaphy. Perineorrhaphy is a procedure in which the weakened, relaxed perineal muscles are brought together for reinforcement. This creates a tightened opening to the vagina.

Perineal relaxation is diagnosed during pelvic exam. Often times, other defects of the pelvic floor are present. Perineal relaxation often occurs in conjunction with a rectocele or perineal descent.

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