No, I'm afraid not. In fact, there is evidence that it's the other way around - that you heal better with a tear. My MW told me that tears are generally better as you only tear as far as you need to, rather than as far as the health professional decides.
You will need an episiotomy if the baby is in distress and they need to get it out quickly, or if you have a forceps delivery, otherwise the general practice is not to cut.
It's very common for women to have an episiostomy in Belgium especially with their first babies. I know a few women who have had very bad episiotomies, and a couple who have torn despite having the episiotomy.
Fortunately I just had small tears both times, both times stitched and no problems whatsoever.
I think on the whole tears heal better/faster, but then you cannot control how much it tears... so you could end up with a very bad tear instead of a smaller episiotomy. As MTM says you'll probably be given a cut for instrumental delivery and may tear during a 'normal' delivery, it's not something I think you actively can choose... if that makes any sense?
I had an episiotomy the first time, and the actual healing was very quick and painless. I was honestly surprised at how easy it was. However, the scar tissue was very sensitive and sex was painful for about 6 months afterwards. I couldn't feel it at all, apart from when we tried to have sex. Eventually, that was fine too.
I grazed with the other two, and that was unbelievably painful in the first week that it was healing.
Well , I had an episiotomy nearly 13 wks ago and after about 6 days, all my bits felt fine again. Saying that, still yet to have sex so hoping that wont hurt!!! (Better get on with it soon I suppose...!)
I have never torn so don't know about that, but I was cycling again 2 weeks after giving birth. I doubt that would have been the case if ds had not been in special care though - as I was out of bed double quick to go to scbu)and sex took much longer also because I was a bit tense. we tried it, it hurt, but four weeks later it was ok.
mrstittlemouse are we twins i was just about to say i've heard the same as... then noticed your name (your surname doesn't begin with S does it?)
if you are cut or tear, be very careful with your stitches,
I had an episiotomy with DS1 due to ventouse, two days later i managed to pull a stitch out and was in agony, ended up with horrendous scar tissue (although Dr that i went to see about scar did say it wasnt a great job regardless of the stitch!)