4 types of vaginal tears during delivery
Since we talked about episiotomies we should talk about tears. Just like an episiotomy, tears can happen on the perineum, the space of skin between the vagina and anus. But they can also happen in the vagina and around the urethra-the tube urine comes out of.
There are 4 classifications of tears 1,2,3, and 4 with 1 being the least severe and 4 being the worse.
1st degree- small tear in the perineum.
2nd degree-(most common) involves skin and muscle and sometimes the vagina.
3rd degree-involves tearing into the muscles from vagina to the anus.
4th degree-(rare) this tear starts at the vagina and tears into the rectum.
Treatment involves stitches that are absorbed by the body so thankfully do not have to be removed
Healing time varies but typically 7-10 days. Most providers prescribe a stool softener to avoid straining with a bowel movement.
Take a look at our previous post on how to care for perineal incisions.