Preventing A Perineal Tear
A midwife can help you avoid a tear during labour when the baby’s head becomes visible.
The midwife will ask you to stop pushing and to pant or puff a couple of quick short breaths, blowing out through your mouth.
This is so your baby’s head can emerge slowly and gently, giving the skin and muscles of the perineum time to stretch without tearing.
The skin of the perineum usually stretches well, but it may tear, especially in women who are giving birth for the first time.
Massaging the perineum in the last few weeks of pregnancy can reduce the chances of having an episiotomy during birth.
The type and frequency of massage varies across research studies. Most involve inserting 1 or 2 fingers into the vagina and applying downward or sweeping pressure towards the perineum.
The most benefit was in women who repeated this every day.
How Long Does It Take For Vaginal Tears To Heal
Whether you had a vaginal tear or an incision, a new wound like this one will take time to heal, usually seven to 10 days. Stiches used in the repair of various tears will dissolve on their own within six weeks.
The site of the tear, however, will likely hurt for several weeks and more severe tears may take longer to heal so take it easy in the meantime.
Treatments For Vaginal Tearing
The treatment for vaginal tears may depend on the degree of laceration. First degree tears are superficial lacerations of the skin in the vagina. Second degree tears involve the skin and fat tissue under the skin. Third degree and fourth lacerations involve the deeper muscles in the vaginal wall. These lacerations may cause a lot of bleeding, requiring surgical repair.
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What Causes Vaginal Tears
Vaginal tears can occur during birth, and when they do, theyre called obstetric tears. Tears can happen at other times, too. Penetrative sex is the most common cause of non-obstetric vaginal tearing. Virginity, atrophic vagina, congenital abnormalities, scarring or stenosis from surgery, insertion of foreign bodies, and sexual assault all increase the likelihood of tearing during intercourse.
Obstetric tears occur during labor when the presentation of the baby stretches the tissues of the vagina and perineum. If the tissues are overstretched, they tear. This is more likely to happen during a first vaginal delivery. Its also more likely if the baby weighs more than 9 pounds. Forcep- or vacuum-assisted delivery and long second stage of labor also increase the risk of tearing. Complications of labor such as shoulder dystocia can result in third- or fourth-degree tears.
How To Treat Deep Cuts
Around 90 percent of women tear in some way during vaginal delivery, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. If you have a vaginal cut or tear that results from childbirth, your midwife or doctor should give you detailed instructions for how to care for the area.
If a tear has reopened or a new tear has occurred, its important that you seek immediate medical attention. Delaying care may result in long-term complications.
During the healing process, you may find it helpful to:
- Rinse the area with sterilized water. Use a small bottle with a narrow plastic tip to do this. Your doctor may advise you to rinse after every time you use the bathroom or after every cleaning.
- Wear a pad for the first several days to help draw any blood away from the cut and keep the area clean.
- Take OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help ease your pain.
If youve experienced a sexual assault, you shouldnt try to treat the wound on your own. Your doctor or healthcare provider can assess your symptoms and help you care for any lacerations or bruises that have occurred. They may also prescribe pain killers or other medication to help you treat your symptoms.
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Keep It Clean And Dry
Minor tears often make way for serious infections due to the ignorance of the new mothers. Always keep your affected area clean and dry. If you have got a stitch, make sure that you bathe in warm water, to keep the area clean. Then dry it completely so that no trace of water stays back.
If you do not want a bath then you can always quick wash your private part with a spray bottle. Then dry it gently without hurting yourself. However, you should opt out from cleaning the stitched area.
You should make a habit of spray washing and cleaning the part, every time you go to the loo. This will eliminate the chances of infection.
Is It Possible For The Stiches To Break
It is rare for the stitches to come undone. But if there is an infection or pressure on the stitches from bleeding underneath can cause the stitches to break, leaving an open wound. This is called perineal wound dehiscence or breakdown.
Wound breakdown can cause pain, new bleeding or pus-like discharge. You may also begin to feel unwell. Sometimes women notice some stitch material coming away soon after they have had their baby, or can see for themselves that the wound has opened.
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Types And Causes Of Labial Fissures
These are simple tears or splits in the vagina usually caused by
These types of splits or cuts usually heal without any treatment.
These types of splits appear randomly for a short or long period. The causes of mystery vaginal fissures are usually associated with
- Fungal or yeast infections.
Severely deep vaginal splits or breaks are a result of
- sexual abuse or assault: a history of sexual assault causes sexual trauma, which inhibits the abused from enjoying sexual foreplay, therefore, making it difficult for them to become sexually aroused. Sexual arousal causes the vagina to release fluids for lubrication before penetration.
Other causes include:
- Menopause: during this stage of life, the level of estrogen, which is the female sex hormone, gradually reduces: the decline of hormonal stimulation results in vaginal dryness.
- Foreplay: an adequate amount of foreplay before intercourse is vital as it results in the release of vaginal fluids. Lack of enough foreplay limits the production of vaginal fluids leading to vaginal dryness.
If Its Between Your Genitals And Anus
Perineal tears are commonly associated with childbirth. If the baby is delivered vaginally, the perineum might split.
However, a perineum might also split as a result of sexual activity and yes, this can happen even if you have a penis.
A shallow scratch or tear in the skin might heal on its own, as long as you keep the area clean.
But you might have to talk to your doctor if:
- the cut is deep
- its bleeding or very painful
In severe cases, you might need stitches.
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Latex Irritation Or Condom Allergy
Latex may cause irritation to the vaginal walls with or without latex allergy, resulting in an irritated vagina and easier tearing by dried-out condoms. A dry condom is the enemy of good sex, so always use a good-quality water-based lubricant, and try latex-free condoms if you suspect you are having a reaction.
Avoiding Products And Activities That Can Worsen Your Symptoms
You should try to avoid the following:
- salt baths
- talcum powder and perfumed lotions
- applying hot water or hot packs to your perineal area
- squatting to keep from stretching your skin too much
- sexual activity until healing is complete
- tampons, but you can use pads after delivery
- douches or vaginal cleansers
Your healthcare provider may give you additional instructions, depending on the type and severity of your tear.
- significant swelling
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What Is The Likelihood Of Experiencing A Vaginal Tear
There are many factors that come into play for a woman to have a higher chance of having a vaginal tear during birth. Parents have stated that women who are experiencing having their first labor and delivery and more likely to experience a vaginal tear. This is due to their vagina not having an experience stretching out and dilating from previous labors. It has even been reported by Parents that 95% of first-time mothers have had some form of a tear. But being a first-time mom is not the only reason why a vaginal tear can occur.
The position of the baby can also attribute to a vaginal tear. The most likely position for a baby to cause a vaginal tear is if the baby is a breech position. Additionally, the labour and delivery that a woman experiences can also cause a vaginal tear. Long labours have been reported to be a factor of why women can have a vaginal tear as well as if they had to have a vacuum- or forceps-assisted delivery.
How An Episiotomy Is Done
An episiotomy is usually a simple procedure. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the area around the vagina so you do not feel any pain. If you have already had an epidural, the dose can be topped up before the cut is made.
Whenever possible, the doctor or midwife will make a small diagonal cut from the back of the vagina, directed down and out to one side. The cut is stitched together using dissolvable stitches after the birth.
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Lichen Sclerosis Or Lichen Planus
LS is a type of autoimmune dermatitis affecting the vulva, which originally presents as an itchy vulva, and results in thickened vulvar tissue with cracks, fissures, tearing and bleeding. LS or LP may develop slowly, come and go, or worsen quickly in some women.
Lichenoid conditions can fuse the vulva among other serious impacts. LS is a cause of fissures. If you suspect you have something more going on and could be developing LS, check out our LS page and make an appointment with your doctor and holistic practitioner as soon as possible.
Mystery Vaginal Or Vulvar Tears
Mystery tears are those that appear seemingly randomly and without cause. They may come and go or stick around long-term and typical treatments dont seem to do anything.
Mystery tears can be caused by many issues, including an underlying infection or low oestrogen.
Rule out a simple tear first, then check through each condition and look for any other related symptoms that could shed light on the cause of your mystery tears.
The vulva and vagina-friendly cuts cream is particularly useful for mystery cuts, as you can apply as needed when a flare-up occurs. But, finding the root cause of mystery cuts and tears is key to eliminating them for good.
This list of causes of mystery cuts and tears is not exhaustive but offers a starting point. Mystery tears may need a proper medical investigation and diagnosis and benefit from targeted treatment.
Neverending tears ruining your life? Make an appointment with one of My Vaginas vulvovaginal specialist naturopaths. Check out our treatment options for mystery tears.
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If You Do Get A Tear Down There
When accompanied by pain and bleeding, a tear merits a visit to your OB-GYN or primary care doctor, or the emergency room if its severe.
Sometimes you may not recognize a tear until you feel a burning or stinging sensation when you pee. If youre unsure of the cause of a vaginal tear or irritation, you should get it checked out by your doctor just in case its a sexually transmitted infection, or something else.
But if you know the cause of the tear, and believe it to be superficial, then a trip to your doctor is not necessary unless the wound begins to show signs of infection.
Care for it as you would any other owie but with a little extra tenderness.
The good news is that there is so much blood flow through the vagina and vulva that all parts of that area heal really well, says Shope. For tears that dont require a visit to the doctor, once you no longer have discomfort, you should be good to go.
What Is A Vaginal Fissure
A vaginal fissure, cut or tear, is a sore break or split in the thin, wet layer of the skin, also referred to as the mucous membrane of the vagina.
Vaginal abrasions or tears are very common, especially since the vagina is very sensitive to numerous factors.
Vulvar fissures can occur on the inner or outer labia , on the perineum, around the clitoris or clitoral hood: which form the internal and external parts of the vagina.
The skin in the vagina is very fragile and delicate hence it is highly susceptible to splits and tears, which fortunately heal quickly without any treatment or leaving scars.
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How Can You Heal Vaginal Tears
The vagina is a self-healing, all round efficient body part, so most micro-tears will heal themselves within a few days. “It can be useful to apply a barrier cream, such as Petroleum jelly, to the tear to soothe and protect the area. Some bigger tears, however, will take longer to heal and a doctor may prescribe topical steroid to reduce local inflammation,” Dr Bailey notes, adding that she would also recommend investing in some Bio-oil:
“Having applied some to your finger, massage the lower entrance of the vagina in a ‘U’shape for a few minutes every day,” she says. “Although this is not a ‘quick fix’, over time , the elasticity of the skin improves which reduces risk of tearing along with increased blood flow which is a fantastic way of supplying the area with more healing white blood cells.”
Despite these measures, some women find that these tears re-open every time they have sex. “When this interferes in a womans ability to have sex, it is reasonable to consider a small operation to surgically excise the tear,” adds Dr Bailey, also saying that it’s worth remembering that tears can also occur within the vagina.
Ways To Prevent Vaginal Tears
There are several things that may help prevent a vaginal tear during birth from occurring.
To prevent vaginal tearing, medical professionals have many strategies they may use during delivery. Massaging the perineum can relax the muscles and help prevent tearing. This method may be used before or during the second stage of labor. A medical professional may hold a warm compress against the perineum during pushing. This may help prevent more severe tears.
To prevent vaginal tearing during delivery, medical professionals can massage the perineum. If its penetrative sexual intercourse what brings the condition, using an appropriate lube can make sex more enjoyable and help prevent tearing.
Penetrative sexual intercourse is the most common cause of non-obstetric vaginal tearing. Adequate foreplay can reduce the risk of these tears. In the event that theres not enough natural vaginal lubrication to make sex comfortable, using an appropriate lube can make sex more enjoyable and help prevent tearing.
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Vaginal Cuts And Tearing During Childbirth
When a person is giving birth, a new human is coming out through the vagina, so it shouldnt surprise you that the vaginal delivery needs it to stretch. Every other person who delivers through the vagina might expect some of the perineal postpartum pain.
And its very common, given the pressure from the babys head that is pushing through, to have vaginal tearing as well as lacerations in the perineum and sometimes the cervix also. As most of the women will have at least a small tear after the childbirth, and anyone who is delivering vaginally is also at risk.
What Are Perineal Tears
The perineum, also known as the area between the vagina and the anus, usually stretches but can tear during pregnancy, especially when women give birth for the first time. As your babys head stretches your perineum, you will feel a burning sensation, and as your tear occurs, that burning stops.
There are different types of tears, and they can be placed into four categories depending on their severity first degree, second degree, third degree and fourth degree. A first-degree tear involves just the skin of your perineum, and if it is not bleeding, doctors will not usually advise you to have it sutured. Perineal tears are common with first births, with around 9 out of 10 women having them, and less so with every subsequent delivery .
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How To Care For Yourself At Home
Your health care provider will recommend a follow-up care plan for you and your baby. Make sure to keep all of your appointments and contact your doctor with any questions or concerns.
You can also help your body heal by performing some at-home care:
- Rest when youâre tired and get plenty of sleep.
- Keep a healthy diet.
- Try to walk every day. Walking helps prevent constipation and boosts blood flow.
- Shower and take baths as normal, gently pat dry the incision.
- Put an ice pack on the affected area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.
- Keep your vaginal area clean by pouring warm water over your vagina and anus after you use the bathroom.
- Sit in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes 3 times a day, and gently dry your vaginal area when finished.
Pain After Rough Sex See A Doctor’s Advice On What To Do Next
So, you and your partner just got done with your bedroom marathon and the pain is finally settling in. But before you freak out over burning urination, you may be experiencing something far less serious than an STI or a medical condition. Although pain during or after sex can be attributed to more serious health issues, it’s likely that you simply received some cuts while getting it on. “Yes it’s actually quite common to get small tears on the vaginal walls during sex,” One Medical provider Navya Mysore, MD, told POPSUGAR.
Oftentimes, this occurs when the vaginal area isn’t sufficiently lubricated. Dr. Mysore added that other conditions, including lichen sclerosis, eczema, psoriasis, or lichen planus, can make getting vaginal tears more common. So, how do you differentiate pain caused by an STI vs. a vaginal tear? You may see a small amount of spotting or feel minor irritation or burning with urination, but other symptoms can indicate a potential infection: different colored discharge, itchiness, pus from the site of the tear, vaginal lesions, or pelvic cramps or pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your primary care provider.
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