Women may sometimes incur injuries during the birthing process. One common injury is a perineal tear. Depending on the severity of the tear, women may sometimes experience long-term side effects.
Some perineal tears are relatively minor wounds, while others pose a more serious threat to a woman’s health.
Different kinds of tears
According to Parents.com, women may experience four different kinds of vaginal tearing. First and second-degree tears are the less serious types. Women usually experience tearing of just the vaginal lining. Second-degree tears typically affect more layers of tissue than first-degree tears. Women may need a few stitches and may experience some discomfort for a few days or a week after giving birth.
Some perineal tears are more serious and require more treatment. If women have a third-degree vaginal tear, then the injury usually extends from their perineal muscles to the anal muscles. Fourth-degree tears generally include the rectal lining. These kinds of tear are less common than first and second-degree tears and may happen only in certain circumstances.
Perineal tears may happen for many reasons. According to Healthline.com, women may experience these tears if their baby is particularly large or if they are having their first baby. However, complications in the delivery process sometimes make it more likely that a woman will incur this wound. Induced labors and assisted deliveries may increase a woman’s chances of tearing. This wound may also occur if the baby gets stuck in the birth canal.
Doctors usually stitch a tear so that women can begin to recover. They may also inspect the wound a few weeks after a woman gives birth.
While many perineal tears heal within a few weeks, some women may experience long-term side effects, such as incontinence or pelvic problems.