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Episiotomy and Vaginal Tear Complications

What is an episiotomy and vaginal tear?

An episiotomy is a cut (incision) through the area between your vaginal opening and your anus. This area is called the perineum. This procedure is done to make your vaginal opening larger for childbirth. Sometimes doctors give an episiotomy to avoid causing the tissue of the perineum to tear. A vaginal tear occurs when the tissue of the perineum tears during child birth.

How long does an episiotomy or vaginal tear take to heal?

The deeper the tear or cut, the longer it will take to recover. There are different degrees of vaginal tears:

  • *First degree tear: This level of tear generally involves only the skin (not muscle) and may or may not require stitches. These tears heal faster
  • *Episiotomy or second degree tear: This level of tear involves both skin and muscles. They usually require stitches and take 2-3 weeks to heal. Women can feel pain and discomfort for anywhere from one week to a month after delivery.
  • *Third- or fourth-degree tear: This is the most serious level of tear that extends all the way to the rectum. With this type of tear you can have pain for a month or longer

With more severe tears, you can have tear or episiotomy complications after, such as:

  • *Trouble urinating
  • *Trouble having bowel movements
  • *Problems controlling gas or bowel movements
  • *Anal incontinence
  • *Pain with intercourse


Episiotomy Complications and the Pelvic Floor

Just like any cut, with an episiotomy you can develop scar tissue. Even if the cut heals, you can still have sensitivity and inelasticity of that scar creating discomfort at rest, to touch and/or with intercourse and sitting.

Any type of episiotomy scar can disturb not just the incision area, but the musculature of the pelvic floor. This makes any pressure or insertion uncomfortable.

When you have a cut with a scab on your finger and you try to bend your finger, it can be tight to move. If it’s deep enough, it might even feel restricted. The same thing can happen with an episiotomy. There are lots of nerves in that area, and a episiotomy cut can create hypersensitivity of those nerves that causes sensitivity, pain with intercourse and pain with sensitivity.

At Rebalance, we work on the scar tissue and pelvic floor musculature to help release the tissue and alleviate the pain. Click here for more on our treatment options.

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