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Postnatal health

2nd degree tear no stitches! When will it heal??

22 replies

Newmummy0306 · 13/06/2017 15:46

Hi 😊

I had a second degree tear during my labour 10 days ago. From what I can remember (I'm blaming the pethidine) the midwife said it was small so didn't need stitches although to me it looks HUGE!

How long have you mummies found a second degree tear with no stitches takes to heal? I can't get a straight answer out of my gp who looked at it today for me. She just said it takes time!

A rough guide would be nice and will it go back to normal with no stitches?! I don't want a bucket! 😱


OP posts:
MissJC · 13/06/2017 15:54

You poor thing! I had a second degree tear and that was stitched up so not sure how skin could possibly fuse back together if not stitched? Mine started to feel normal after 2 weeks but still feels a bit tight and achy after 15 weeks down the road.

A consultant delivered my baby and it was the same consultant who spent 45 mins putting me back together.

I can't understand why they didn't stitch you!

Can you speak to your midwife on her next visit to you? Mine kept checking mine to see if it was healing.

Newmummy0306 · 13/06/2017 15:58

I know I'm convinced now I should've been stitched! I did see the midwife today too who said not all 2nd degree tears need to be stitched and it should heal naturally but like you say I can't see how it will come together on its own πŸ™ˆ

Fingers crossed! The gp said all they can do now is treat if there's any sign of infection which so far there isn't!

OP posts:
VocalCat · 13/06/2017 16:00

Congratulations on the birth of your child and I would call the labour ward (you'll be under them for another 18 days) and ask if you can go in to see them.

BendydickCuminsnatch · 13/06/2017 16:02

Whaaaaaat!? That seems insane to me! I've only had a 3C tear (so tore right through to my arse) and took 1.5 hrs to stitch up - 2nd degree pretty bad still though! Tears through the muscle.

From NCT website:
1st degree – This involves the skin of the perineum and the back of the vagina. These tears are often so small they don’t need stitching, and in fact they heal better naturally.
2nd degree – This is when the skin and back of the vagina plus the muscles of the perineum are torn. These tears need to be stitched closed.
3rd degree – This involves the skin, back of the vagina, muscles of the perineum and extends partially or completely through the anal sphincter. Stitches are needed to close these tears.
4th degree – This is the same as the third degree tear, but extends into the rectum. Stitches are needed to close these tears, too.

Maybe go to the GP and they can refer you back to postnatal clinic, if you've been discharged from midwives?
Congrats on your baby!!

NCforCake · 13/06/2017 16:02

I had a small 2nd degree which the OBGYN did put 2 stitches in. Within about 2 weeks the stitches were rubbing the wrong way (stitches don't do well in my body for some reason), so had to go in to have them cut out, and dr said it was healed up enough to not need new ones. so maybe give it another week? or if it's really sore, ask to have it checked again?

Newmummy0306 · 13/06/2017 17:27

I've been to the gp, she didn't seem bothered and was reluctant to even look until i insisted. Still not bothered even after she looked! So must be ok?!

OP posts:
VocalCat · 13/06/2017 17:33

GPs aren't specialised in tears. Go back to the labour ward (you will still be under them as it has not been 28 days since you gave birth) and speak to someone there. A second degreee tear should be stitched up.

DirtyDancing · 13/06/2017 20:20

I wasn't stitched with second degree and it healed in 1 week! Marvellous!

Nan0second · 13/06/2017 20:31

It will heal by secondary intention, which means it will heal from the base of the tear up.
After this amount of time, stitching will be more difficult as the tissue will have already started to heal.
It can take up to 6 weeks to heal on its own (but can take that time if you do have stitches so I would expect it to be quicker than that).
From a consultant obstetrician
(But not your obstetrician so you should seek medical advice from your own labour ward if you are having problems)

dementedpixie · 13/06/2017 20:47

I was stitched with my first 2nd degree tear (stitching seemed to take forever). It took a long time to heal properly and I had a granuloma that needed to be burned off a bit later too. I wasn't stitched with my second one as it wasn't bleeding so they left it to heal by itself. It felt much better and caused me a lot less pain and distress

Newmummy0306 · 13/06/2017 20:52

Thank you everyone! I feel better knowing that some of you weren't stitched and healed ok. It feels fine, a little achy but not enough to need pain killers and the gp said there were no signs of infection so I guess now it's just a waiting game and back to labour ward if I have any problems!

OP posts:
Spudlet · 13/06/2017 20:54

Don't get constipated! Get lactulose if needed. Mine took aaaages to heal because I was straining to take a dump for weeks (and I had massive piles too, the early days were truly shite).

As soon as my lovely GP gave me lactulose, everything got much better almost immediately.

Hedgeh0g · 13/06/2017 21:00

I was stitched with a second degree tear but i got infected and all the stitches came away, they didn't restitch but left it to heal itself. I think it took maybe a couple of weeks?

fuzzywuzzy · 13/06/2017 21:05

I had a second degree tear 16 days ago and the midwife insisted on stitching me up, so glad she did as I was slightly hysterical in the aftermath of the birth and didn't want it stitched.

Mine has now healed and the stitches have dissolved or been absorbed or whatever.

If your tear hasn't shown any signs of healing I'd want to be referred to a specialist and have it looked at, you so do not need to have problems relating to your perineum.

Also keep doing pelvic floor exercises it helps with the healing.

EezerGoode · 13/06/2017 21:14

I had a 2nd degree tear after my dc 2...wasnt stitched...,since had 2 more dc with no problems.i was just told to keep my legs together as much as possible,be careful getting in and out of the car / my 6 week check up all was fine

FuzzyPillow · 13/06/2017 21:15

Sometimes things just take time OP.

I can't comment on if it should have been stitched up or not, but I had 2 big operations & infection (failed episiotomy) and just had to wait for the open wound to heal for 10 months. Got lots of advice and it was definitely the best thing. It just took ages.

Although I'm not making any assumptions about if yours should just be stitched!

I'm really just saying 2 weeks is not a long time!!

terrylene · 13/06/2017 21:32

I had a tear in the 'back vaginal wall'. The muscles form a ring around the vagina and the anus and there is a line of muscle across between the two. The ring of muscle around the vagina tore with me. The line of muscle across then twangs back towards the vagina and you lose the 'shelfy bit' at the entrance, and my tampons used to fall out and I took in water when swimming breast stroke. My perineum was not very big.

I had one big stitch though the skin that was supposed to mend this, but it sort of twanged off because it did not go through to the muscle properly. I did not have skin tearing there - the tearing was forwards up to the clitoris and they were more concerned about this at the time. For some reason they do not think this tearing matters too much, but it did to me. Hmm

I had a perineum repair (with rectocele repair) many years later. It was a revelation Grin.

If you are not happy with how it feels go back.

It took 4 weeks for my op to heal if that is any help.

MujosMama · 21/06/2017 14:27

I'm so relieved I'm not the only one this is happening to. I'm day 6 postpartum with my firstborn and at the checkup yesterday she confirmed my fears, based on a lot of pain and fresh blood every time I pee, that my stitches have partially come out and the word she used to describe my perineum was "gaping". I have a 2nd degree tear but it's quite long, almost to my back passage, and I took a look in the mirror yesterday and cried. Midwife sent me to GP but all he can do is prescribe antibiotics and a stronger painkiller, then referred me back to midwife care. My plan is to get to our 10 day check on Sunday which is at the hospital and see how it looks then but I also have the worry that it won't knit together on its own. On a related note, how have people coped with the pain? I now have diclofenac prescribed as an alternative to OTC painkillers and spent most of yesterday with a cold wet muslin cloth pressed up against myself in an effort to get some relief, but not very practical when I have so much to do at home with a newborn

stepbystepdoula · 22/06/2017 14:01

The tear will heal, agree with the previous advice to avoid constipation, also drink plenty of water.
I would also suggest salt baths, a little old fashioned, but I swear it helped me heal quicker πŸ’•

MujosMama · 05/07/2017 00:11

Just wondered how you were getting on OP? I'm now 3 week PP and although the pain is much more bearable I am still on daily painkillers and antibiotics. I braved another look in the mirror today and honestly it does not look any better at all. I can see that all my stitches have dissolved now but the tear doesn't seem to have come together at all, I can still see the skin and muscle layers are separated all the way down my perineum, with fresh blood still when I pee and shower. I spoke with the health visitor and she advised me to speak to my GP but I had the same experience as other posters that they have a "not sure what you expect me to do about it" approach Confused

MujosMama · 06/08/2017 21:19

Hopefully you're doing better OP. If it helps you or others, I went back to the GP, saw a different doctor, persuaded her to take a look and she confirmed all was not well. I got different antibiotics and the gynae consultant also recommended manuka honey impregnated dressings. Sounds v wishy washy I know but they were actually magic. Bought them on Amazon, stuck them over my bits overnight for 2 weeks and was so much better. I don't think it will ever look quite the same - the bottom edge of the opening to my vagina is still slightly separated, but I am not in pain any more and that's good enough for me!

coffeeandchocolate4 · 07/08/2017 23:07

I had a second degree tear and a epistomoty and it went VERY far back, it was border line third degree. My stitches fell apart and they would not restitch me. I was so upset. I also ended up with an infection 5 days post birth.
It is hard but it will get better. Change your maternity pad frequently, let yourself air if you can (lying on a towel) after a shower as I was told to keep the area clean and dry and tbh the best thing that helped me was once my infection was cleared was to have salt baths every night. They thought I'd need reconstruction but 3 months post birth it all healed and whilst it's hard to see how it will bc it's not stitched, I read up a lot about granulation healing where it effectively heals from the inside out so you won't see the skin heal until last (if that makes sense).
I'd also take a copy of your post natal notes before your midwife takes them off you just in case and definitely ring the maternity ward to get checked as I found my gp useless as they didn't have a clue Smile


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