There are times when I really miss the way things once were "down there" - times when I'm quite honestly miffed that things aren't quite the way they once were, in part because I believe that had I had a c-section things would be 'the same'. Mr. W. swears its good - but sometimes I wonder if he's just being polite, because it isn't the same for me, so I can hardly imagine that it is as it once was for him. That's not to say that it is bad, it's just different. It's like going to your favourite restaurant only to discover that it's no longer there and has been replaced by some other establishment. You don't know the menu and you've got a deep craving for the old restaurant's 'house special' - but the thing is you can never get the old restaurant's 'house special' again, you're hungry and there is no other restaurant in town so you must learn the new menu. You just wish you would have known before hand that your favourite restaurant wasn't going to be around anymore so that you could have enjoyed and savoured the old restaurant's 'house special' one last time before it was no longer available.
Maybe it's un-lady like or vain to care about anything other than whether or not there's a healthy baby and being able to go about mothering in as short order as possible; a vagina's purpose is to give birth after all - using it for sex is just secondary. Except for many women (myself included), childbirth is/was a secondary purpose, one that I certainly would have exempted my vagina from ever having doing if I had been given the choice.
I imagine if men gave birth, they'd know exactly what the impacts of doing so would be on their penises' form and function and how that varied by mode of delivery. They'd have measured every aspect, both before and after - and would have reems of scientific studies and data on the matter. Of course because men don't give birth - there's scant information out there on how childbirth and mode of delivery impacts the form and function of vaginas.
One scientific study I found, "Sexual function, delivery mode history, pelvic floor muscle exercises and incontinence: A cross-sectional study six years post-partum", by Dean, Wilson, Herbison, et. al in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2008; 48: 302-311 - seems to indicate that delivery by caesarean confers some benefit in this department. The study received responses to sexual function questions from 2765 women at 6 years post partum and found that women who had delivered exclusively by caesarean section scored significantly better on questions relating to their perception of vaginal tone for their own and partner's satisfaction compared to those who had vaginal and instrumental deliveries.
While not scientific in nature I decided to ask a group of mothers who had given birth to indicate whether or not they had delivered by cesarean or vaginal birth and whether or not things were "better", "worse" or the "same". Thirty women in total responded, 12 who had experienced vaginal births or vaginal and cesarean births and 18 women who had experienced only cesarean births. Among the vaginal or mixed birthing women only 2 (16.6 percent) indicated that things were "the same" - 4 (33 percent) reported that it was better 5 reported that it was "worse" (42 percent) and one reported that it "was different but not bad". Among the 18 women who experienced caesarean births 10 reported things as being "the same" (55 percent), 3 reported things as being "better" (17 percent), 4 reported things as being worse (22 percent), and one reported that "sex isn't the same" but did not indicate if it was any better or worse. From this informal and non-scientific survey among women who had vaginal births, 50 percent indicated that things were the same or better meanwhile among those who had caesarean births 72 percent indicated that things were the same or better.
I would think that women's sex lives should matter enough to study this further...