If you had a 2nd degree tear - was it stitched & how long to heal?

(45 Posts)
OnlyWantsOne Sun 26-Aug-12 10:23:04

That's it really. Did you have a 2nd degree tear & was it stitched? Left to heal?

CherryBlossom27 Sun 26-Aug-12 10:26:33

I had a second degree tear and had stitches. I think it had healed after my last home visit from the midwife so about 2-3 weeks.

The main things for helping it to heal is clean and dry after you go to the toilet even if it's just crouching in the bath and pouring a jug of warm water over. And most importantly is letting it "air" so twice a day have a lie down on a towel and air your bits! Make sure you close the door if you have visitors lol!

doblet Sun 26-Aug-12 10:26:45

Stitched. Never heard of one not being stitched?

cupcake78 Sun 26-Aug-12 10:30:49

3rd degree and a few 2nds (big babyblush). 3rd was stiched, a few odd stiches in 2nd degrees where needed. Took about 4-6weeks for full healing and another few months for it to settle down again. After 6mths back to normal.

Sometimes during sex it would feel a bit tight or sore but that all went as well.

OnlyWantsOne Sun 26-Aug-12 10:34:32

Mine wasn't stitched - MW said it would be ok but now I'm home and have had a look - I can't see how the hell that will heal properly

cardamomginger Sun 26-Aug-12 10:34:35

Stitched. But poorly and using the wrong suture - one that was suitable for skin rather than muscle, so it dissolved too quickly before things had healed. I had to have a repair to the deep pelvic floor muscles later on as part of surgery to repair other birth injuries. Occasionally they are left to heal on their own, but I understand from surgeons I have consulted about my own injuries that the outcome is rarely good and usually surgery is needed afterwards.

Echo everything that's been said about keeping it clean and dry. Would also recommend having a look with a mirror each day - can be scary, but this way you know what things look like and will be able to spot any problems quickly.

OnlyWantsOne Sun 26-Aug-12 10:35:18

Oh fuck

cupcake78 Sun 26-Aug-12 10:37:44

I had my stitching checked by another MW as mine 'hadn't done it in a while', not what I wanted to hear but maybe not a bad thing either.

I couldn't look so MW looked for me on home visits to check.

CherryBlossom27 Sun 26-Aug-12 10:43:13

I don't really much much about it, but my midwife spent ages stitching me up. I asked how many stitches there were, but she said it was one long bit of thread used to do the stitches. I think if you're worried ask for a midwife to come and check? My HV asked if I wanted her to check mine (day 14), but I said no as I could see it was healing up fine.

booflebean Sun 26-Aug-12 11:15:50

I had 2nd degree, borderline 3rd and was stitched - took about 40 minutes!!

Healed very very well - within a month I'd say??? If I looked now with a mirror I would never guess I'd had a baby <smug> wink

Backinthebox Sun 26-Aug-12 11:23:42

I had a second degree and a third degree tear. An hour in surgery with a spinal block to sew it up. I told the surgeon (a really lovely big laughing Nigerian man) he had better do a good job! And he did.

I used lavender and tea tree oil in a shallow bath twice a day. Bunged loads of the stuff in. If you mix it with a tablespoon of milk before you put it in the bath it disperses it more evenly. I got my MW to check how things looked, didn't ever look there myself as just by feeling it I could tell it wasn't pretty.

I was riding horses again 5 weeks after having my baby - only a gentle horse at a steady walk, but very pleasantly surprised that even though I managed to tear myself to shreds it wasn't as bad a recovery as I thought. It did feel like the world was falling out of my crotch for about the first 10 days after birth though, and then suddenly started to feel a whole lot better very quickly.

The other thing that helped was that my MW made sure I wasn't up and about doing too much in the first week. I was only allowed to come downstairs once a day - could stay down there for as long as I liked once I was down there, but she was very clear that the walking up and down stairs movement wasn't great for a perineal tear.

peeriebear Sun 26-Aug-12 11:23:44

I had nearly an hour of stitching after my tear. Three years on I had a Fenton's procedure to excise the scar tissue as it never healed properly and was always sore.
Surprised to hear the MW said yours would heal on its own?!

cardamomginger Sun 26-Aug-12 14:31:35

Hi Onlywnatsone. You are probably feeling pretty scared right now and very very worried and I'm really sorry about that. Did a doctor assess you before the decision was made not to stitch you? 'Second degree' means that the muscle layers have been involved, but that the tear hasn't gone through the anal sphincter at all. This means that at one end of the spectrum you can have the tiniest tear that has only just gone into the muscle layers, but is really small and not very deep at all. At the other end of the spectrum you can have a tear that goes all the way through the deep muscle layers and stops literally a whisker away from the anal sphincter. Yet both types will be classified as 'second degree', even though the extent of repair work required will differ hugely for each.

Can you got to your GP and ask for a referral to a gynae surgeon for a second opinion? Or can you go back to the labour ward and ask to see one of the obstetricians? Explain that you were not stitched and that you are concerned. If I were you I'd insist. Not sure I'd be satisfied with a community MW opinion (if you are still getting visits). Their expertise in this area varies widely. Neither am I sure that I would be happy with a GP's opinion, for similar reasons. Your's may be a post-birth gynae expert. Or not.
So so sorry. We're here to support you if you need us. XX

TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 26-Aug-12 14:39:04

What cardamom said.

Also remember that if you are squatting down or hoiking a leg up to have a look with a mirror the tear is likely to look open and gaping. When your legs are together it will be meeting together at the edges better.

Get the community midwife to have a look and give an opinion whether she thinks it looks like it needs stitching.

TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 26-Aug-12 14:41:26

There is different opinions on whether tears are better left to heal naturally or be stitched.

Some people think healing is quicker if left. Some don't. But there is lots of debate around it.

NeedlesCuties Sun 26-Aug-12 18:52:45

With my PFB I had a 2nd degree tear, which took around 2 hours to stitch - no idea what took so long!

It got infected - despite me trying my best to bathe it and let it air properly sad DS was born in the Feb and I was referred for surgery to fix 'granulation scar tissue'. The surgery was due to be on the NHS and took until the Sept to get a date. In the meantime I'd been looked at by my Community MW and 3 different GPs.

In the end it healed itself about a week before my surgery date smile That was over 2 years ago and I never have had the courage to look at it with a mirror since!! DH said it doesn't look any different and he can see the scar only if he makes an effort to see it.

Am due DC2 any day now and a lot little bit worried about what will happen this time round, but trying to be optimistic.

vodkaanddietirnbru Sun 26-Aug-12 18:58:03

I had a 2nd degree tear with dd and it took ages to stitch and a long long time to heal (I still describe the stitches as worse that the birth itself). With ds I also had a 2nd degree tear but it was left to heal by itself (I dont know whether it was maybe scar tissue that tore from the first birth and there wasnt much bleeding). It took much less time to heal and was much more comfortable than the stitching done the first time.

OhNoMyFoot Sun 26-Aug-12 19:09:22

The 2nd with dd took a while but it was a bad one that went up as well as down.

Had a second with 2ds but think it wasnt a bad one this time. Seemed to be done quicker as well.

OhNoMyFoot Sun 26-Aug-12 19:10:43

NeedlesCuties - it's all the folds and layers involved

Declutterbug Sun 26-Aug-12 19:14:35

V v large 2nd degree tear with DC1. Layers upon layers of stitches that took the registrar almost an hour to do sad. It was 'healed' by my 6 week check, but the vaginal opening gaped and the whole landscape looked totally different sad. After about 6 months sex was no longer uncomfortable. By the time DC2 was conceived when DC1 was 18 months everything was fully functional smile, but 'not quite the same as before sad.

DC2 gave me a v small 2nd degree tear. I opted to leave it unstitched. It was healed within 3-4 weeks. Initially it did gape and look like it could never heal. But, it did. Better than after DC1 grin, back to more like pre children.

DC4 gave me a v small 1st degree tear. It's still healing (3 weeks on). No stitches. Still gapes, but no discomfort at all (in fact never any discomfort). Crossing my fingers it heals as well as afer DC2.

With DC3 I was v jammy and escaped unscathed grin.

Gauchita Sun 26-Aug-12 19:17:40

I had a second degree tear with DD. I was asked whether i wanted it stitched but I have a v bad needle phobia so I asked MWs if it would heal on its own. They said yes, but that it would take longer. I went for that option anyway and I'd say it took around 7 weeks to heal 100% (sore for maybe 3?)

I echo what others have mentioned, though, if you're not feeling ok have it checked by visiting MW or the GP? Hope you're better soon OP.

fuckbadger Sun 26-Aug-12 19:17:49

I had 2 2nd degree tears with that were stitched, I have no idea how many stitches as the mw did one long running stitch but it took about 40 minutes. It got infected afterwards and was really painful for about 5 weeks but it all healed fine in the end.

I had problems getting the mws to check me though so the infection was only picked on day 14 after I insisted on being checked. I had asked at least 4 times to have my stitches checked before that and they kept refusing angry

EmptyCrispPackets Sun 26-Aug-12 19:20:24

OP some small 2nd degree tears aren't always sutured.

I've seen a few left and they've healed fine. Ask your midwife when she sees you postnatally to check it out, and make sure it's healing ok.

sittinginthesun Sun 26-Aug-12 19:22:57

Hi. I've been posting on your other thread - i still think it is wrong that they have left you over the weekend with no pain relief etc. I had a partial 3rd degree, stitched in theatre with an epidural, and was kept in for 3 days whilst it started to heal. Then I was discharged and checked daily for the first 10 days.

Can you phone the hospital? I'm sure I was told to call if i had any problems with it and, at one point, the midwife arranged fir a prescription to be issued by the hospital for DH to pick up.

BenedictsCumberbitch Sun 26-Aug-12 19:26:26

If I leave a 2nd degree tear it's always done in conjunction with the woman, if it is just as someone described earlier, into the muscle, not bleeding and sitting together well then I often suggest that suturing is not required as although the best efforts are made to keep things as sterile as possible I'm still entering a foreign body into a wound and therefore the potential for infection. If I think the tear requires suturing and therefore the benefits outweigh the small risk of infection then I will relay that to the woman. Our hospital guideline says to suture all 2nd degree tears but in the case of small tears I outline the pro's and cons to the women and most decline suturing based on what we discuss.

As someone else said, the very nature of opening your legs to look at the wound can pull it out of shape and misalign the edges of the wound so you might not be getting a true idea of how it will heal.

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