The “Husband Stitch” Is One Of The Most Shocking Things Happening To Women & You Need To Know About It

It’s sometimes said to be a myth, but the “husband stitch” isn’t an urban legend or a medical practice that went out with the dark ages. Scarily, it’s happening to women after they give birth – often without their consent or knowledge of it. Here are 13 important things you need to know about it.

  1. What’s the “husband stitch?” During labor, doctors usually have to cut into the perineum, which is the skin and muscle located between the vagina and anus, so that a baby will be able to come out of the enlarged vaginal opening. The cut is usually between one and three inches long. This wound gets closed up after labor. So far this all makes sense, right? Well, there’s a hidden agenda going on that’s known as a “husband stitch.”
  2. It’s literally an extra stitch. Women don’t always know that the doctor has given them an extra stitch to make their vaginas tighter. OMG. That’s what the “husband stitch” is.
  3. Why is the extra stitch being done? The “husband stitch” is performed by doctors to make a woman’s vagina tighter after pregnancy and labor, so that it will please her sexual partner and boost her sex life. That’s why it’s called the “husband stitch.” Ugh. Are you shaking your head and feeling angry? Buckle up because things are about to get worse.
  4. Some women discover they’ve got a “husband stitch” in a creepy way. As reported by Scary Mommy, women who’ve had the “husband stitch” might hear their doctors telling them that their vaginas will look better than ever now or something else that’s creepy and disturbing AF, which basically alerts the women to the procedure that’s been done on their bodies without their knowledge or consent.
  5. It can lead to many problems. For starters, although the “husband stitch” is said to make sex pleasurable after labor, some women who have it undergo extreme discomfort and pain during sex. In fact, some become fearful of sex because it’s just too painful. So, there’s not only a physical consequence to this stitch but emotional side effects too.
  6. But that’s the least of it. Other alarming side effects women have reported after having a “husband stitch” include pain when standing up straight, chronic infections, chronic pain, and being unable to walk for long periods. Ugh.
  7. Too many women are having this procedure. The “husband stitch” is really common. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that between 30 and 35 percent of vaginal births in the U.S. include a “husband stitch.”
  8. Women are speaking out about it. As reported by Babble, a blogger called Rebecca Woolf spoke out about her husband stitch. “It was severe and not only did it take me weeks before I could pee without crying, but it took me a year before I stopped itching in my crotch. It was like a yeast infection on speed as it was healing. Not fun at all. Not only that, but it STILL doesn’t feel the same down there. He cut through the muscle tissue so the whole vag area feels just very funky and sad.” So heartbreaking.
  9. Sometimes an episiotomy is required. The cutting into the perineum is medically known as an episiotomy, but it should only be performed if it’s really necessary. As in, completely, 100 percent necessary. Basically, this necessity refers to a situation where the baby needs to come out and there’s no time to wait for the perineum to stretch, and doing an episiotomy procedure would offer fewer risks than performing a C-section instead. If these criteria aren’t met, it shouldn’t be done!
  10. Sadly, they’re being done when they’re not necessary. A study published in the British Medical Journal monitored more than 5,000 women in the U.S. and Canada and found that the “husband stitch” rate for low-risk moms was 2.1 percent during home births when compared to 33 percent of births in hospitals! WTF? Women are having these “husband stitches” when there’s no medical reason for them.
  11. It really serves no purpose. It’s thought that the “husband stitch” makes a woman’s vagina tighter after childbirth but guess again. That myth’s been busted a long time ago! In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was found that a routine episiotomy carries no benefits at all to the woman getting it. WTF?
  12. How to keep yourself protected. If you’re worried that a “husband stitch” will be done on you during childbirth, it’s essential to get a doctor who doesn’t perform them. Be open and honest about your feelings, because it’s your body. Only stick with an experienced doctor who’s against the procedure so you don’t get emotionally and physically harmed.
  13. It’s sexist AF. Since the “husband stitch” offers no benefits to women, it’s completely unnecessary and manipulative, and definitely sexist. Even just its name is sexist, with the idea that a woman’s body after childbirth needs to be corrected with stitches so that she can continue to please her partner in bed. What a load of bull!


Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.