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HELP! perineal tear problem 1 YEAR after birth :(

(28 Posts)
aactionmum Thu 12-Aug-10 22:17:05

I had my baby in July 09. Natural delivery, but had epidural during labour. Midwife told me I had a minor tear and they're going to leave it to heal, so didn't stitch it.

That was the last time I was checked.

After 6 a couple of months my DH and I tried to, well, you know! (sorry, too shy!) but it was extremely painful for me, so we had to stop.

We tried again a couple of months later, but it was painful again, so I went and saw my GP. She said it's probably because of hormones caused by breast feeding, nothing to worry about and suggested that we use lubricant.

We tried, it didn't work.

Today I went to see her again and she checked me down there and said she thinks the tear should have been stitched and I may need to have an operation to fix it

I can't explain how upset I am now. This situation has put a heavy burden to my relationship and now I learn that it's not me, it's because of some idiots didn't do their job properly!

I'm also terrified of having an operation. Did anyone had similar experience? How do they fix a perineal tear 14 months after the birth?

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for your help!

hairymelons Thu 12-Aug-10 22:19:16

Ok, no help here sorry but POOR you sad.

Hopefully someone will be along with proper advice soon.

xboxwife Thu 12-Aug-10 22:23:45

This is a really common problem (unfortunately) and I've read loads and loads of stories on here about women having minor procedures to re-do crap suturing after childbirth. I believe it's called a Fenton's procedure and is usually a day surgery case.

I know it is frightening but from everything I've heard it is a relatively minor procedure with high success rates and you will feel so much better when it's done.

Are you on a waiting list for op or been referred to a gynae?

aactionmum Thu 12-Aug-10 22:36:28

hairymelons thanks. Poor, poor me

xboxwife I saw my GP today and I'm trying to make an appointment to see a gynae - their booking system is not working.

Thanks for the info. I'll google it now.

xboxwife Fri 13-Aug-10 09:11:19

if you can possible afford it, I'd get gp to write you a referral letter and see private gynae for initial consultation. I've done this when I've been consumed with worry about a gynae problem (scar tissue after childbirth which was cauterised) and it's good to get the reassurance that something can be done/it's not at bad as you thought.

aactionmum Fri 13-Aug-10 18:05:58

thanks, xboxwife.

I googled it last night. It looks like a "minor" thing, but WHY WHY WHY did this happen? I thought I was lucky not to have stitches after the birth and now this... and WHY didn't anyone checked me after the birth? I'm really angry.

I will see the gynae next week. It's not private, but I'll see a private one if I feel it's necessary.

Can you please tell me a bit more about the procedure? Did you have to stay in hospital over night? I read somewhere that you have to have a c-section after this operation. But I also read that some people had natural births after this operation, so I'm very confused now.

muslimah28 Sat 14-Aug-10 12:59:15

ive had loads of problems with my episiotomy. a completely different case to yours but my episiotomy was stitched but the stitches came out leaving an open wound. its basically been healing itself. so a tear/cut does heal its just very very said that it didn't happen to you. oh and i did have to have surgery 3 times to get it to heal properly and its only been one week (13 weeks after giving birth) that ive been feeling better and not having to lie in bed all day as the only way to relieve the excrutiating pain.

anyway, one thing i would say if you have the op is that you have to work hard to promote the healing. keep a close eye on the stitches- examine them daily at first to see what's happening. from what ive heard about others who have problems with perineum stitches i really think if people monitored the healing and worked hard to promote teh healing it would help them. there's so many things you can do to promote healing, salt baths, arnica, airing the wound.....

have a read of this thread to see how to help such wounds post op- it will also help you to see that there are people in a worse situation (not to undermine your pain and discomfort in any way, you've had a rough time- but sometimes such perspective can help people to feel better).

muslimah28 Sat 14-Aug-10 13:01:13

ps having just posted the above, i'm worried that maybe posting the above link to the other thread may freak you out about having the if you think it will then dont read it. instead just follow the 4 simple pieces of advice i listed above.

hitmouse Sat 14-Aug-10 13:13:41

I had a very similar problem - they offered me the choice of whether to have it stitched and of course after just giving birth the last thing I wanted was that so I said no. It never healed properly (there was a little flap left raw - sorry if that's TMI!)I was referred for an op to re-do it but it was cancelled twice at the last minute. In desperation I went to a shop selling medicinal herbs even though I didn't really think it could help and asked their advice and was told to sit in a bath of some sort of herb that promotes healing (really sorry I can't remember what it was - possibly calendular?)as much as I could. About a week before I was due to have the rescheduled op it finally healed! The gynaecologist was very surprised but agreed I didn't need the op and I've had no more problems. I was probably very lucky but it might be worth a try as it's very easy and cheap?

hairymelons Sat 14-Aug-10 13:59:36

Calendula is a homeopathic remedy for healing tissue, hypericum for cuts and wounds. Think both are available at boots but if you can get a higher dose (30c or 200C) online, I would do so. Take one of each daily for a few days. If it's helping, carry on taking it (you can also put one of each in a bottle of water and sip throughout the day). If not, discontinue.

MIL is a homeopath so I take all this stuff for granted- sorry I didn't think of it before my earlier, entirely useless post!

Did your midwife not check you at home post-natally before discharging you? You should have been looked at at your 6 week check up too. You're right to be angry, it's a whole lot of heartache. I would write to head of MW and your GP to ask why you weren't checked properly.

Marjee Sat 14-Aug-10 14:16:04

Hairymelons I actually think its quite common to not be checked, I had an episiotomy and was never checked despite asking 3 times angry. Although I think I'm ok it still worries me and I get quite upset just thinking about it

xboxwife Sat 14-Aug-10 14:41:01

I didn't get checked either, was told they no longer did postnatal checks where I live shock. My midwife checked my tear for the first week and said it was healing fine then discharged me. Second week I checked I was shocked, there were holes where the skin hadn't knitted together properly.

Rang community midwives office to see if my midwife could come out, was told she was on holiday and to make an appointment with my gp as 'midwives can't do anything anyway, you'll need an antibiotic'. Saw female gp who freaked me out by telling me I needed a complete repair.

So it seems it's not that uncommon for these things to go unnoticed unless you actually check your wound yourself!

hairymelons Sun 15-Aug-10 01:17:13

I didn't get a 6 week check either actually. My midwife did check my tear twice before discharging me though, and also told me how to keep it clean and make weeing less painful!

I was taking calendula, hypericum and arnica (for bruising) courtesy of MIL so maybe that helped me heal ok.

For all the problems it can cause, you would think checking it's healing properly (and giving proper advice on taking care of the wound) would be more of a priority.

aactionmum Sun 15-Aug-10 01:17:56

muslimah sorry to hear you had to have so many operations & thanks for your advice. I'm not sure I want to click on that link. I may do later.

hitmouse thanks! That's fantastic news! I'll go to the local health shop on Monday

hairymelons I'm going to google those herbal remedies tomorrow. Are they pills? I try not to take any pills because I'm still breastfeeding.

I don't remember whether my midwife checked me, but I have a copy of my notes so will check them tomorrow. My GP only asked a couple of questions and ticked some boxes in the 6 week check up. I was feeling a bit sore but thought it was normal. I was also too tired and sleepless to expect her to check what was going on down there...

hairymelons Sun 15-Aug-10 01:30:31

They are homeopathic remedies in pill form. I'm pretty sure they're compatible with BF as I was too and MIL wouldn't have given them to me if not. Don't take my word for it though- try helios homeopathy, they're a reputable company and should be able to advise you properly. I think there's a mother and baby section on the website somewhere which might have the relevant info.

Hope you're on the mend soon

muslimah28 Sun 15-Aug-10 10:44:55

aactionmum thanks for your sympathy- it goes a long way! totally understand re the other thread- heres a summary of what you can do post op to make sure it really does heal this time:

-take homeopathic remedies (i took arnica strength 200c after my operations and just wish i had taken this strength after my episiotomy- i took 30c then and it didn't make a difference). but if unsure get a homeopath's advice there are some that specialise in maternal medicine
-regular salt baths- up to four times a day if you can manage it- just make up a sits bath of a handful of coarse sea salt and make sure the salt gets into the area, sit for 5-10 minutes. salt contains iodine which promotes healing- nb if your homeopath gives you a sits bath solution then check if its compatible with this and decide which you want to do. i took calendula as a sits bath and personally i didn't find it as effective as just plain salt, but up to you
-air dry as much as you can, sit on a bed with your legs slightly open so the wound is air dried. as i was bed laden with my (extreme) problem, i basically didn't wear undies for weeks on end and kept the area exposed.
-keep it clean and dry and wash after every time going to the loo, then dry with a clean hair dryer or fan- buy a new one if necessary

the above are the things that made the most difference to me and if i had known this early enough i would have done these things from day 1 and not had the wound problems that later developed for me.

i think the NICE guidance for pregnancy should include recommendations that tears and cuts should be examined a few days after birth and at the 6 week check, and referral to a gynaecologist if any concern. if its part of NICE then midwives and drs are more likely to act on it. im amazed how many people have problems with this its worrying that it seems to be a neglected area of healthcare.

im sure you'll be fine, and just think of the difference it'll make to your life once you get this sorted smile

wishing you all the best, let us know how you get on.

aactionmum Sun 15-Aug-10 17:03:36

hairymelons thanks for the link. they sell Calendula cream. i wonder if it's as effective as the pills.

we have a really good health shop here,so will go and talk to them tomorrow.oh, i'm really hoping i'm as lucky as hitmouse and can heal the darn thing myself, without needing surgery

muslimah28 thanks.

hitmouse do you remember how long it took to heal after you started using calendula? or how often did you do it? thanks.

hitmouse Mon 16-Aug-10 09:49:55

I'm not 100% sure it was calendula, so it would be worth checking if there's anything else better. It was in herb form that you brewed up like tea then sat in rather than taking anything like pills.
I think that helped as I agree with muslimah that the baths are really important - I did them with my next two and had no problems. It was a few years ago but I think I did it a few times a day - the more the better probably. I can't remember exactly how long it took to heal either but it was probably around a couple of weeks. It didn't show any signs of change for a while then one day I suddenly realised it didn't feel so sore and it had healed.
Just found which might help and seems to confirm it was calendular!
I really hope this works for you - I remember how uncomfortable it was. Fingers crossed!

hairymelons Mon 16-Aug-10 10:03:23

Just spoke to MIL, hypercal cream is also also good (contains calendula and hypericum, the 2 remedies I mentioned above). Calendula cream might sting a bit depending on what the base is made of so make sure they know where you intend to put it!

She did say that the remedies in pill form would promote (lentil weaver alert) 'healing from within' whereas the cream will only promote topical healing but if you're not comfortable taking the pills the cream will certainly help.

Best of luck whatever you decide- it will all help

Treylou Fri 20-Aug-10 15:02:37

Hi, I have literally been discharged from hospital this morning following a couple of procedures, one being the Fentons procedure.

Basically I have suffered since the birth of my son 18 years ago with tearing on the opposite side of my episiotomy scar. I have been to the doctors and referred back to my consultant several times over the years always to be told that they couldn't see anything or that they didn't know what it was. Not until did I pay to go private that this last consultant diagnosed the problem and offered a solution!! After 18 years of putting up with paper cut type tears after making love and going to the toilet, I went to pieces in his office and after getting quite emotional on him, I agreed to the Fentons Procedure.

He has made no promises but at least he has tried to put something right that has taken 18 years of my life and cost me one marriage and created problems in my second. 18 years of feeling like some kind of freak because I yelp out in pain when making love with my husband and then being so sore and painful for the next 2-3 days whilst the wound then heals itself.

Don't wait any longer, go see your consultant, pay if you can afford to and go get it done. I don't know if this will work or not, I won't know for a few weeks but just having the acknowledgement that your condition is real makes a huge difference. Please get it sorted, don't let it drag on.

Wishing you well.

Jayj87 Sun 13-Mar-16 11:31:48

Actionmum - did you have the op? This has happened to me, I should of been stitched but Instead it was left. I have been booked to have the op in April 2016 and just need to know of people's experiences of this? I am able to have sex but it's uncomfortable and I can feel I have an issue down there. Fuming that the midwife left it.

TattieHowkerz Sun 13-Mar-16 13:40:21

This being an old thread you might not get an answer. There is a long running thread called "ragged bits" - I think it is in general health. Lots of people with similar experi des there. A quick search should find the latest installment.

pinguina16 Sun 13-Mar-16 15:47:59

I'm sorry you're going through this. I felt horror when it happened to me. I was seriously injured after forceps and a couple of months after birth my GP tried to use a normal size speculum to have a good look down there (kept feeling discomfort) but she was unable to insert it because the entrance to my vagina was too tight. She used a "baby" speculum instead.
Was already seeing physio for other stuff so physio taught me how to massage the scar to release the scar tissue. It did help a lot but unfortunately not enough. When I finally felt ready to have sex again the sore area split and bled. So after a few attempts with similar results I saw gynae who agreed I'd need surgery (Fenton procedure to remove scar tissue).
I was apprehensive before op but all went well. Very different from vaginal birth. In in morning, out same day. A bit sore for a few days but really nothing compared to my birth.
Don't bleed anymore after sex. Still a little tight to begin with but fine once things get going... I'm very glad I had the procedure done. It's also got rid of some shafing I felt when walking.

It's the sort of thing no one tells you about but from reading threads on MN is a lot more common than you'd think.
Getting the correct advice from gynae or physio is really important. If you do need surgery homeopathic remedies will do nothing so please see a gynae and if you don't like what they say, do ask for a second opinion.

Jayj87 Sun 13-Mar-16 21:16:58

Sorry to hear of your bad experience. Gynae has scared me a little as he said it could make things worse than they are. Like I said I can have sex but when I am due on my period and on my period my problem I have becomes very apparent to me. I also have trapped air in there which releases at any given time which can be highly embarrassing. My fear is that the surgeon could possibly make it too tight and that scar tissue may develop so I could find myself in a worsened situation. This is purely down to the negligence of the midwife who couldnt be bothered to carry out stitching. I had a very easy non instrumental birth so it has left me very upset and angry

greypinkandpurple Wed 16-Mar-16 06:07:56

Friend of mine had very similar situation
A few pathetic atempts during two years however she was suffering constant horrendous pain making her to unable to even walk sometimes
She had a Fenton almost three years ago
But phisical and psychological damages were to sirious for her to be normal and healthy again

Friend unfortunately lost everything her agony lasted for to long
She had never even come anywhere close to attempt to try if her operation was successful in 100 %
Friend would never try again
She have been damaged for life

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