3rd degree tear(11 Posts)
Sorry if this has already been posted about. I'm new to this forum and not entirely sure how it works.
My question is about 3rd degree tears and what your experiences have been.
I had a 3rd degree tear 6 months ago when I had my first baby. The midwife told me that she would tell me when to stop pushing but she didn't. I ended up pushing him out really quickly and got a third degree tear.
Since the birth, I have had pain and bleeding whenever I have a bowel movement. I went to see my GP and was referred to a surgeon. They said that everything seems healed but I'm still in pain. (I was not offered any physio.) Going to see the surgeon made me feel even worse because she told me that if I ever get pregnant again, there is no guarantee I could get a c-section. She said I would be more likely to tear giving birth a second time because of the first tear. She also said that I could end up with problems such as bowel incontinence and that there was no guarantee that it could ever be fixed. I always wanted a big family but now I feel scared about having another baby.
Also I have tried having sex three times since giving birth and haven't managed it. I'm really scared about tearing through the muscle again. My husband fluctuates between being sympathetic and accusing me of being selfish. I know it has been 6 months and I need to get back on the horse again but I'm really, really worried about it. Any time I even think about sex, I think about the tear.
I looked 'down there' properly for the first time the other day and everything looks different. I have a big line of scar tissue poking out and it looks terrible.
I feel like everything has changed since I had my baby and I feel really low all the time. If you've had a 3rd degree tear, have you gone on to tear again during subsequent births? Does the scar tissue go away? Do you have any tips about having sex again?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Hi there, it sounds like you are having an awful time. I had a third degree tear 3.5 years ago and I seem to remember things getting back to normal physically at 6 months. I was given physio and have healed well. I thought that was standard procedure, you should push for better aftercare if you can. Although it doesn't hurt now I am still conscious that there is scarring there during sex and I don't think that will ever change. I am 31 weeks pregnant with my second and am trying to figure out what kind of birth to have. My hospital have not ruled out that I have the option for a c section and I can't imagine that an hospital would deny a woman that option after something like a 3rd degree tear. I don't think some consultants realize what effect their comments have on people. My consultant this time didn't seem to understand why I was so upset about my previous birth and told me I had no greater risk of the same thing happening again. (approx 5 % chance) I just can't bring myself to believe it.
I have been looking at comments on the internet about second births after a 3rd degree tear and almost all seem to have had a great second birth.....Has anyone had this experience also?
I hope things start getting better for you soon xx
Just quick reply I'm afraid - I had a third degree tear with ds1 9 years ago.
Healed ok, but it hurt to some extent until around 12 months.
I also avoided sex for ages. Probably around a year (DH but grumpy, but we survived).
Ds2 was born when ds1 was 3 years old. I was under a consultant, who recommended a natural delivery, but with a cut, under epidural if I wanted at the time. Was terrified during pregnancy, as ds2 was measuring very big for dates, but he arrived at 36 weeks, got my epidural (at 10cm), cut, and all was fine.
I had a third degree tear with DS1. It all healed up fine, although sex did take months to resume (not just because of the tear though, also becuase completely exhaused!). With DS2 I had a home birth and tore slightly along the scar tissue but didn't need stitches. When pregnant with DS2 I was referred to a consultant to discuss birth options but I wasn't keen on CS especially as I'd really had no recovering issues. I got the impression I could have easily opted for CS though if it was causing me problems.
Hi Victoria. I suffered what sounds to be exactly the same problem as you after tearing very badly giving birth to my son a year ago. It's horrible and that surgeon sounds awful and completely unsympathetic.
From my experience to deal with the bleeding and pain you need to get a referral to a physiotherapist specialising in the pelvic floor ASAP. You also need to get a referral to a different surgeon - a colorectal specialist probably - so they can check it is the scar tissue bleeding and nothing else. Also taking a stool softener like Fybogel may help relieve the symptoms a little in the meantime.
It took ages for me to find a consultant who took my problem seriously. Everyone looked and said it's healed, you'll feel better in 3 months, 6 months, when you stop breastfeeding.... It didn't.
I had a small part of the scar tissue that was opening up every time I had a bowel movement - causing a bit of blood and a lot of pain. My consultant says that my pelvic floor tone is too high (probably a result of the trauma of tearing and the pain) - this means the sphincter is too tight and you have to push harder and are more likely to reopen the wound. He's advised me to take a fibre drink daily and given me a cream to help the muscle relax. I've seen a specialist physiotherapist as well and things are definitely improving, though occasionally the problem comes back. I'm waiting for an appointment with a specialist psychologist to talk through the birth trauma as apparently that also contribute to tension in the pelvic floor region :-(
Things will get better, but you need to get the right help. I know its tough when you're stressed about your problems and exhausted from looking after your baby, but keep bothering your GP until you get to see the right people. Good luck with everything.
I had a 3b tear just over 14 weeks ago.
So far I have had a physio appointment with an Incontinance physiotherapist at about 9 weeks who checked the scar tissue and the strength of My pelvic floor muscle and gave me exercises. Then last week I had an appointment at the coleorectal department who did an ultrasound scan to check the internal healin and also the strength of the internal and external sphincter muscles. These referrals were automatic with a 3rd or 4th degree tear. If I get pregnant again then I'll have consultant appointments to discuss the method of birth.
As far as in aware a previous tear only increases your chances of a 3rd or 4th degree tear again by about 5%
I'd go back to your GP or a different one and get a referral. Your GP seems to just write off that people may have Incontinance problems but there needn't be with proper treatment. The opinion of the coleorectal nurse I saw was to see everyone early and sort out exercises etc so any future problems can be prevented rather than be expected.
I'm an obstetric registrar & what the surgeon told you is wrong. If you're still in any way symptomatic of the tear by the time of next pregnancy (pain on bowel opening, urgency or incontinence with wind or faeces) then a section will be discussed and can be requested/suggested (it's in the RCOG guidelines). Fr people that are asymptomatic by then a section isn't advised as risk of sections are higher than risk of subsequent 3rd/4th degree tear. You need to be referred for physio & you should be doing 5mins pelvic floor exercises (pulling up front & back) every day. The internal stitches are very strong & take over year to dissolve so can be uncomfortable this whole time if close to skin but this will get better. Sex may make very outside bit bleed a little but won't tear the muscle. You need an understanding partner who will be willing to take it slow, stop if sore & use bucket loads of lube but its worth persevering with before you start feeling really scared of sex.
Yes indeed to industrial quantities of lube. Your partner sounds like he's being an arse, I found my 3rd degree tear terrifying and revolting in equal measure and needed my partner to be understanding.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.