Is the Husband Stitch Legal?

Medically Reviewed on 10/28/2021
husband stitch
The husband stitch is not an approved medical procedure and is considered malpractice without the woman’s consent.

The husband stitch is not medically approved and is not an accepted medical procedure. 

Also called the husband’s knot, daddy stitch, or vaginal tuck, the husband stitch is a procedure that was in practice by obstetricians since the 1950s. It is a type of female genital mutilation in which an extra stitch is made to increase the tightness of the vagina and the sexual pleasure of the male partner.

Sometimes, during childbirth, the perineal muscles tear or the doctors may perform an episiotomy. This is a surgical procedure where part of the perineum is nicked to accommodate the delivery of the baby. During suturing the perineal tear after delivery, an extra stitch is sewn to the vaginal opening so that the opening becomes smaller than it was before the childbirth.

The birth canal and vagina expand to accommodate the baby's head during delivery and sometimes the vagina may not return to its pre-birth form. The husband stitch was designed to increase sexual pleasure for the woman's spouse by reducing the size of the vaginal opening.

Most of the time, this procedure was done to women without their consent, and many of them did not know that they had undergone such a procedure.

Can you sue for getting the husband stitch?

Conducting the husband's stitch is considered malpractice, and all doctors and other healthcare workers can be sued for performing this surgery.

When a person suffers discomfort or mutilation due to a healthcare provider's error, they have the right to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

People may get compensation through a medical malpractice claim. To do it, a person must present adequate evidence to demonstrate that the losses experienced were caused by the doctor's failure to act following the expected standard of care. All the invoices and documentation of the leave from work are important pieces of evidence to show the medical costs and loss of income.

What are the side effects of the husband's stitch?

The following are some of the common adverse effects of the husband stitch post pregnancy:

  • Unable to walk for a longer period after giving birth
  • Standing up upright causes discomfort and pain
  • Sex becomes painful to both partners, especially women, who may experience more pain, resulting in fear and avoidance of sex
  • Swelling and chronic pain in the vaginal opening
  • The scar tissue may tear
  • They may have persistent infections
  • Emotional distress
  • Incontinence
  • Damage to the nerve endings that result in loss of sensation in the area
  • Disfigurement

Does the husband stitch really exist?

It is well-known that during childbirth, episiotomy is commonly performed. However, the husband's stitch performed along with episiotomy isn’t as routine.

There have been no scientific studies to determine how many women have been harmed, nor is there a clear technique to determine how often the husband stitch has been used in obstetrics.

Women, however, have shared anecdotes and whispered warnings to others. This shows that the practice is very real, and many have been affected by it.


The vagina includes the labia, clitoris, and uterus. See Answer
Medically Reviewed on 10/28/2021
Image Source: kupicoo / Getty Images

Rupe H. An OB Weighs in on the ‘Husband Stitch.’ WebMD.

Kollipara T. Female genital mutilation in the US: The “husband” stitch. Women’s Republic.