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Why Didn't We Think of This Genius Use For Condoms?

A young mom laying in her hospital bed holds her newborn baby on her bare chest moments after giving birth.
Photograph by Getty Images

The swelling and soreness many women experience following a vaginal birth can be unbearable. The methods for easing the pain—whether sprays or icepacks or heavy medication—can be just kind of OK.

A new dad, unable to take his wife's suffering, came up with a brilliant hack for getting the soothing, anti-swelling effects of ice delivered right to his post-partum wife's most inflamed and painful parts. His amazing fix idea came to him once he started thinking outside the box. The condom box.

He gathered up a bunch of condoms and loaded them with ice. Perfect size, perfect shape.

Now guess what SHE did with them.

Martin Wanless, an Australian dad blogger, wrote about his genius hack recently after his wife gave birth to their son.

“This isn’t male bravado, delusion, or wishful thinking,” he wrote. “Make sure you’re stocked up on condoms. Filled with water and frozen, they’re the perfect shape to rest in between new mum’s legs and ease a bit of pain and swelling.”

Wanless's new cure wasn't, it turns out, new at all. In fact, Lauren Streicher, associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told SELF magazine that she and her colleagues used to make them for new moms in the hospital when she was in her residency.

“We had a whole freezer full of them at the hospital," she said, noting they were for external use.

Bottom line, if you are suffering from postpartum pain, tossing a few dozen condoms filled with ice into the freezer may not be such a bad idea, as long as you follow doctor’s orders.

Streicher went on to explain that doctors recommend putting ice on the area to ease swelling after giving birth, but that most ice packs do not conform well due to their bulky and inflexible design. Though she does not condone ice pop therapy directly on the vagina (and yes, the term "freezer burn" was used), she did suggest placing a washcloth between the frozen condom and vagina for protection.

Melissa Goist, an ob-gyn from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, agreed.

"Condoms are not sterile, which typically is not a problem but in the immediate postpartum period, when the cervix is more dilated, it could pose an increased risk of infection." She added that using a condomcicle in the perineal area—the area between the anus and vulva, where women are typically sore—was safe.

Bottom line, if you are suffering from postpartum pain, tossing a few dozen condoms filled with ice into the freezer may not be such a bad idea, as long as you follow doctor’s orders.

For those not sold on a dildo-shaped ice pack, they now offer disposable frozen maxi pads (perineal ice packs) at most hospitals and online as an alternative to this uncomfortable situation. Even better (and way cheaper), you can just throw some water on a menstrual pad and stick it in the freezer. Now we're all thinking like Wanless!

Either way, if you need to chill out “down there,” do so with caution or you might get burned.

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