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  5. Anyone had more then 1 3rd degree tear?

Anyone had more then 1 3rd degree tear? Lock Rss

Hi, I'm after some opinions on another natural birth after 2x 3rd degree tears.
I had my son in 2009, 14 hour labour, epidural, vacuum extraction, he ended up coming out with his arm up to his ear, 8 pound 7 and I had suffered a 3rd degree tear which had to be repaired up in theatre. I then had my daughter in 2011, very quick 3 hour labour, no pain relief and she weighed 7 pound 3 but still had a 3rd degree tear which again had to be repaired in theatre. I seemed to heal well from these tears. I'm now expecting my 3rd in June and I'm tossing up weather to have natural or c section as c section is what was recommended to me when I pregnant with my 2nd but I chose not to have one and I know I'm going to have to make the decision again. I would love to hear from anyone who have had previous 3rd degree tears and what birthing options you chose. Thanks. smile
Hi there I had two natural births both really long labours with waters being broken for me and had same as you 3rd degree tears both times,
They still hurt on occasion too, just where the scarring is I guess!
If I had a 3rd I'd probably opt for c section not sure I could handle another tear like that smile
I've had three babies and each time I've been given an Episiotomy before I had a chance to tear. Apparently they heal much better and do less damage than a tear?? So I wonder if this could be an option for you - not sure. I've never had one, but a C-Section seems like a big deal to go through and lots of recovery time when you've got other little ones to look after at home.


my family thought I was nuts but I requested an episiotomy for my first as well. There was no way DD was coming out of there without some damage and mine was less than 1cm. Just enough to get the head through nicely.

don't regret it at all, recovery was amazing have had no issues. I had no pain with it and was able to carry on as if nothing had happened down there. for this next walnut die I wouldn't hesitate to have it done again at all. If your able to get an episiotomy done I would def consider this. they use a local so even after the baby is out I still couldn't feel anything down there.

do what feels right, only you will know your body well enough.
I've been told that it's better to just tear then have a episiotomy as a tear is jaggered so it's easier to stitch back up? I really don't want to have a c section if I don't need to as that is a major surgery to recover from but I'm just scared of doing myself more damage or something. Thanks for the replies! smile
frangipani_princess wrote:
I've been told that it's better to just tear then have a episiotomy as a tear is jaggered so it's easier to stitch back up? I really don't want to have a c section if I don't need to as that is a major surgery to recover from but I'm just scared of doing myself more damage or something. Thanks for the replies! smile


Yes, I think I recall something like that also - better to tear then be cut. I was originally cut to make way for the vacuum. And then for subsequent deliveries they just cut along the original episiotomy scar so it was all very straight forward. I would definitely be avoiding a c section if possible. Best of luck.


A different point of view here but my first birth was very similar to yours- 12.5hr labour, vacuum extraction due to baby's heart rate dropping and presenting with his arm up- like superman- and third degree tear with required me to go to theatre. Once there it was 'downgraded' to a severe second degree tear. Only differences to you being i'd had no pain relief and my baby was only 6lb 8 oz. At my 6 week check up my gp advised me that for any further births she would strongly recommend a c/section as there is every chance the tear could reopen and tear further and there's a chance that fourth degree tearing could cause problems that could affect you for the rest of your life- like fecal incontinence. I made my decision there and then for a c/section if we had another. There was no way I was chancing that and I wasn't keen on another natural birth anyway after what had happened. I had my dd last year via c/sect and am so glad I did. There was no trauma involved with her birth and it was a much more positive experience with a better recovery physically and mentally. Just another point of view there, but I think as long as you weigh up the pros and cons carefully you'll make the decision that's right for you. Good luck smile
Tough decision... my first and major thought was that you said you healed well. I assume by that you mean you healed fairly quickly and didn't experience any incontinence or pain as a result of your tear? This for me would be the first thing I'd consider. I didn't tear, I was given an episiotomy and I would not choose to do this again although they say if you've had one episiotomy you're likely to need another. Mine took a long time to heal, it was very pain, became infected and I had a lot of nerve trauma to my pelvic floor so it took over a year to regain pelvic floor muscles. Having an episiotomy doesn't always prevent tears, sometimes you will go on to tear on top of the cut. Obviously c sections have their own risks and issues with healing too... Perhaps you can talk to your ob or midwife about ways to possibly reduce the severity of tearing?




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i had tears badly with both my babies worse with DS lost a lot of blood and afterwards had a lot of pain and it never quiet healed the same and had a fair few issues with my pelvic floor muscles afterwards! I would be having a chat to your midwife and see what she think is best!!! Good luck hun, not an easy one but i would be avoiding a c-section if possible!!!







have you tried prenatal massage down there? I have heard this is really good and can help alot
Can understand this is a very hard decision to make - I have had 2x 3rd degree tear was just stitched in birthing suite - DS1 was a pretty big tear 8lb 8 but DD was only 6lb 5 technically only just 3rd degree but guess the area is prone to re-tearing.
As I am expecting again I'm keen to have a talk on ways to minimise any bigger tear.

If the tear itself didn't concern you then maybe looking at options to reduce the chances of this happening! I've heard ppl who use the epi-no say it's very effective in stretching the area and preventing further tears.

Good luck





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