What is a husband stitch?
Basically, it’s an extra stitch a doctor might make in a woman’s vagina after she delivers a baby to supposedly make the vagina smaller and tighter.
And let’s not mince words here: the husband stitch is a type of female genital mutilation intended to increase vaginal tightness and enhance male sexual pleasure.
If you need to take a moment, we don’t blame you. 😤
It can have severe negative effects on a woman’s health and is absolutely considered medical malpractice.
Yes, you can sue a doctor who performs one.
Feeling the fury mixed with a great deal of curiosity?
We discuss the legality of this medical procedure, side effects, and reversal below.
In this article: 📝
- What is the husband stitch explanation?
- Does a husband stitch make you tighter?
- Can I request a husband stitch?
- Is the husband stitch illegal?
- Can a husband stitch be reversed?
- Can I sue my doctor for giving me a husband stitch?
What is the husband stitch explanation?
During labor, it’s possible to experience vaginal tearing—dare we say common.
A doctor may also perform an episiotomy, where they cut part of the perineum to accommodate the delivery of your baby.
After birth, the doctor will then repair the tear or episiotomy with stitches.
So far, all above board.
But in the 1950s, a dubious additional medical procedure was sometimes included in the repair process—the husband stitch.
Sometimes known as the “daddy stitch (as if it couldn’t get much worse),” a “vaginal tuck,” or a “husband knot,” it’s essentially an extra stitch sewn into a woman’s vaginal opening beyond what’s needed to repair a tear or episiotomy.
It makes the vaginal opening smaller.
And it serves no other purpose but to enhance a man’s pleasure.
Even worse, historically, the husband stitch was often done without the woman’s consent.
Does a husband stitch make you tighter?
No, a husband stitch doesn’t make the vagina tighter.
This isn’t possible with stitching.
Vaginal tone is related to pelvic floor strength.
You can work on this with things like Kegel pelvic floor exercises.
Instead, the husband stitch makes the opening to the vagina smaller.
As a result, husband stitch side effects can include painful sex, infections, longer recovery time after birth, and general pain and discomfort.
Can I request a husband stitch?
Due to the possible side effects and complications, a doctor (acting ethically) should not perform a husband stitch.
The point of getting stitches after childbirth is to repair natural tears or surgical cuts.
It isn’t to reduce the size of the vaginal opening.
And it certainly isn’t to prioritize the sexual pleasure of your partner.
Besides, a husband stitch is not recognized as an official medical procedure.
We know decreased vaginal muscle tone can be a problem for some new mamas (particularly after multiple births).
And some doctors do offer procedures called “vaginoplasty” or “vaginal rejuvenation,” meant to restore vaginal tone.
But the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is skeptical about these procedures.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is usually the best starting point if you’re experiencing any vaginal or pelvic floor issues after giving birth.
A physical therapist can give you exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Also, know that it is very normal for your sexual relationship with your partner to change after having children.
It’s more than OK to speak to your doctor or a therapist if you have questions about your sex life after birth.
Is the husband stitch illegal?
The short answer is 100% yes.
A husband stitch is considered medical malpractice because it goes beyond what is medically necessary.
And so, if a doctor performs this procedure without a woman’s permission, it’s medical negligence.
Given all the possible side effects, the practice goes against surgical principles of healing and consent.
You may be entitled to compensation if you suspect you’ve had a husband stitch without your consent.
To pursue this, contact a specialist legal firm (experienced in medical issues) who can advise.
Can a husband stitch be reversed?
Because it’s not recognized as a medical procedure, there’s limited medical research on whether a husband stitch can be reversed.
Equally, there aren’t reliable clinical studies or data to answer the question, how common is the husband stitch?
Thankfully, it’s rare in the USA, UK, and Europe, though — so don’t let the thought of this get in the way of a confident birth.
But, as seen in the Peanut community, it sadly can and still does happen. 😡
If you’re worried about a husband stitch after childbirth, speak to a trusted healthcare professional.
In some cases, it’s possible for women to be “re-cut” and stitched up again to reverse a husband stitch.
Sadly, if a woman hasn’t realized they’ve had a husband stitch, this can mean years of excruciating pain during sex or problems with future births.
Can I sue my doctor for giving me a husband stitch?
As we’ve discussed, a husband stitch is medical malpractice.
So you can sue your doctor if they’ve done this without your consent.
In the US, when anyone suffers mutilation or discomfort due to healthcare errors, they have the right to seek compensation.
This results in a medical malpractice claim, which can lead to a lawsuit.
Talk to a trusted midwife or healthcare professional and gather all your hospital records before starting a claim.
We know this is a sensitive topic, mama!
You’re not alone.
If you need support, check out the Peanut community.
No topic is off-limits.