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Am I better off having a 3rd degree tear or a c/s?

(45 Posts)
ChocFudgeCake Mon 15-Jun-09 17:52:41

The midwife said so. I had a 3rd degree 2 labours ago, then had a forceps delivery and now worrying because perineum feels sore and all muscles there weakish. I'll have an app. in a couple of weeks with the consultant to speak about it. I do remember that after that tear I thought that I'd rather have a c/s than going throught that again, but of course I don't know how bad a c/s is. I'm very worried

whomovedmychocolate Mon 15-Jun-09 17:53:38

My CS's were fine (both of them) one of them had some further problems but these were related to multiple caesarians rather than the op itself.

Chaotica Mon 15-Jun-09 18:06:09

I'd go for the cs (have had episiotomy and then a CS although I tried to avoid it). Neither were pleasant, but I wouldn't much want repeated tearing.

jeaux90 Mon 15-Jun-09 18:57:29

CS recovery is longer but the worst is over by day 3 IMHO. One tip is that although staples give you a neater scar apparently, I found them excruciating, like tiny daggers, but this onlylasted 24 hours. I think stitches probably hurt less, and if I had to do it again I would ask for stitches.

jabberwocky Mon 15-Jun-09 19:03:30

my elective was a breeze and teh staples didn't bother me at all. I wouldn't want to think about tearing.

jeaux90 Mon 15-Jun-09 19:07:08

Maybe it was because I could not take anti inflammatories then....I could only take the normal pain killers whereas i think they combine them usually post cs. I just found the staples awful.

jeaux90 Mon 15-Jun-09 19:08:11

Just to say though....I would have a cs again if i needed to and where I live (mmiddle east) you can elect so I would definitely consider that next time.

JeanPoole Mon 15-Jun-09 19:24:40

it's a difficult one, but perhaps a cs would be better as the risks of long term damage after another 3rd could be pretty horrid.

but then perhaps it would go well and you wouldn't get a 3rd degree or worse tear again.

if only we had crystal balls for things like this.

its a difficult decision

ChocFudgeCake Mon 15-Jun-09 20:19:01

Thanks for your posts
My midwife said that I could ask for an elective (not that it means that it will be "granted")only if I was very traumatised after that bad tear, but it sounded like she didn't think it was a good idea. But I WAS very traumatised indeed... On the other hand, I think I will want to have more children, so I worry about having multiple c/s...

When I read that a c/s went well, "a breeze", it makes me very happy

PlentyOToole Mon 15-Jun-09 20:20:34

Ive had both!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the cs was better even though I also had a broken coccyx at same time, was almost impossible to move after spinal wore off..

still not as bad as 3rd deg tear from dd.

PlentyOToole Mon 15-Jun-09 20:24:27

c/s!! every time.

c/s vs. incontinence with number 2's grin

no contest!

I was so poorly/messed about with after my 'natural' screwed up birth that I recovered faster from the c/s.

and the care was better as a surgical team are better than bored/inexperienced/tired midwives just about to go off shift.

and you can plan for the delivery

it is really not that bad.

as for multiple c/s, you can have up to 3 with no extra worries.

and as for your midwife of COURSE you'd be granted an elective, with absolutely no problem.

chipkid Mon 15-Jun-09 20:28:50

I had an elective after a third degree tear. For me it was a no brainer-a very well respected consultant in this field mentioned the possibility of double incontinence in the event of a further serious tear, that made the decision really easy for me!

The elective was a joy after my first birth experience-and the recovery was much easier than I had expected.

becktay Mon 15-Jun-09 20:31:26

I've also had both - had third degree tear just 5 weeks ago. Got to say I'd take the tear over c sec any day of the week. Has healed quicker and I can pick up my DS1. Mind my section was emergency and I believe an elective is easier. I get the feeling it's all a bit luck of the draw with this birthing lark. You may not tear at all this time and need no stitches, but you'll def be stitched with a section. Good luck to you and I hope you have a great birth whatever you decide. smile

MrsHappy Mon 15-Jun-09 20:33:55

It seems to me that most of the downside of cs comes in the impact that it might have on future pregnancies.

I guess then one thing to bear in mind is how many more children you might want. If you think your family will be complete with this one I would be more inclined to go for a cs.

Ease of recovery is mixed. Like anything else it varies from woman to woman. But even though I had some complications since then (that impacted on getting/staying pregnant) at the time it could have been a lot worse. I did feel quite pants but suspect that had a lot more to do with the 36 torrid hours of labour that went before the section! Don't get me wrong - it is painful after a section, especially the next day IME, but you are in hospital "resting" and should be being given drugs. By the end of the first week I felt a lot better and by 5 weeks I was fine as long as I didn't really overdo it.

Given the choice, if I thought my family was virtually complete, I would probably have a section.

MrsHappy Mon 15-Jun-09 20:36:13

Ooops, just seen that you think you want more children. Ignore my post!

LovelyTinOfSpam Mon 15-Jun-09 20:49:19

I think up to 3 sections is considered OK isn't, before it can start getting a bit dodgy?

Never had a tear but had an emergency section last time and it was fine, easy recovery.

Like others have said, if only we could have a crystal ball to tell us which to do for the next it would make life an awful lot easier smile

jabberwocky Mon 15-Jun-09 21:45:47

Yes, up to 3 is considered to be low risk. I've had two adn would be totally fine with a 3rd if dh was agreeable wink

essexgirl31 Tue 16-Jun-09 10:55:10

Hi. What a decision! I had this debate. My third degree tears were the result of my DS1 having his arm in the wrong place. I recovered really well and had no problems. When I got pregnant again both my midwives and consultants advised me to try having a natural labour. I spent this pregnancy petrified about the birth and getting 3rd degree tears again and horrid long term problems. Anyway, last monday I gave birth (in water) to DS2. I did get 2nd degree tears at the scar site but I have recovered really well - so different to 3rd degree. I can hardly feel them. Hope this helps. Good luck with it all.

christie00 Tue 16-Jun-09 20:41:18

Had a beautiful ELCS 14 weeks ago after 3rd degree tear last time - felt I could take on the world after 4 weeks as opposed to...oooh...about a year after the tear. No contest for me!

casperthefriendlyghost Tue 16-Jun-09 20:57:04

This is such a personal decision - had a hospital birth which ended up in a 3rd degree tear with my DS1 (hand on head as he came out). I had a spinal tap and was repaired but suffered no ill effects whatsoever - no pain (possibly because of the painkillers I was given??) afterwards and no leaking of any kind.

I was advised to be checked out by the consultant when I had my next child so I duly went along to simply be asked whether I had had any 'problems' since DS1 birth. When I said no they said a natural birth would be fine but were not keen on a home birth. I went for a home birth, had a 2nd degree tear that needed no stitches and healed really well again.

It's such a difficult one to call. I can't comment on CS as I've never had one but all I would say is that if you are worried now then when it comes to the actual birth you are highly likely to be even more worried which is in itself going to affect how the birth goes. I would think carefully over your feelings towards each option and go with your gut instinct, you probably know already which one you want to choose! Good luck smile

doulalc Tue 16-Jun-09 22:28:38

Very personal choice....If you decide to go vaginal, ask your midwife about the ways to best help prevent any tearing. You already know that you can give birth without it happening, so that may be something to consider as well. C-section will have all the inherent risks of surgery in addition to some recovery time afterwards.

Both have'll have to decide which has the fewer potential risks that you are willing to take.

FlappyTheBat Tue 16-Jun-09 22:37:30

I have never had a vaginal birth but recovered very quickly from both my cs.

My friend has had 1 cs and 1 vb which resulted in a 3rd degree tear, which will require future surgery. She has taken longer to recover from her vb as only able to lie on her side for the first 5 weeks and was unable to walk very far so coudn't leave her house.

Realise that her experience is probably at the extreme end of things but she now wishes she had gone for a cs.

Sawyer64 Tue 16-Jun-09 22:43:47

This may be relevent to your decision making

Claire2009 Tue 16-Jun-09 22:45:44

2 Cs here, recovery time great. Staples both times, scar barely visible 2yrs on.

Heated Tue 16-Jun-09 22:50:49

Like you, I had a 3rd degree tear and major problems post-natally. Had the option of an elective 2nd time round but on advice of mws went for vb with epidural which was fab. However, what I did not give enough weight to and which the mws never considered (only focused on the birth) was incontinence post menopause, childbirth trauma being a major contributing factor. If you have already weak muscles there, giving birth is likely to weaken them further even though you may not tear - as happened to me. If we go onto have a third child, I will opt for a c-section; I have every confidence I can vb, but that isn't the issue - making sure I'm not incontinent afterwards is.

Jmo, go for the ec.

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