Our Service For You

Birth Injury Articles
3rd Degree Tear  Helping Recovery

3rd Degree Tear Helping Recovery

Suffering a 3rd or 4th degree tear during childbirth can be a pretty distressing experience. You will want a swift recovery so that you can get on with caring for your baby.

Suffering a 3rd degree tear

If you delivered your baby via a vaginal birth, you were probably given a thorough vaginal and rectal examination afterwards. If you received a severe perineal tear during childbirth, you are likely to have had your tear repaired under anaesthetic in an operating theatre.

A 3rd or 4th degree tear can have a significantly greater impact than a smaller, more superficial tear because it will affect the anal sphincter, therefore damaging the functioning of the bowels and your ability to control your bowel movements.

Recovering from a 3rd degree tear

Although some symptoms and pain can continue for up to a year, most women make a good recovery from a severe tear. Of course, you will want to do all you can to make your recovery as quick and successful as possible. There are a number of ways you can help this process.

Avoiding infection

Until your tear has repaired, it is important to try to avoid getting infections in the perineal area.

  • After going to the toilet, wash the area thoroughly and gently, avoiding transferring germs from the bowel area forward to the perineum
  • Change any sanitary wear regularly

Caring for your stitches

Your stitches should dissolve naturally but it is important to look after the region of the stitches until they do.

  • You may wish to take laxatives to ease the passing of stools so that there is less pressure on your stitches when you open your bowels.
  • Do not use tampons and replace sanitary towels regularly to reduce irritation
  • Keep the area cool with water or air to try to reduce swelling
  • You may wish to take pain relief

Maintaining good health

Remaining generally healthy will help your healing process and help your body to respond to any infections, should you develop any.

  • Avoid smoking
  • Eat a balanced diet, including fruit, vegetables, cereals
  • Drink plenty of water

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises are exercises to improve the quality and tone of the muscles around the pelvic region, such as contracting the muscles around the anus.

Pelvic floor exercises can help the recovery process in a number of ways:

  • By increasing blood supply to the damaged area
  • By reducing the likelihood of incontinence
  • By strengthening the pelvic organs

Possible Complications

If your stitches are not repairing or symptoms such as wind and faecal incontinence continue, you need to speak to your GP or midwife. It is possible that your tear has not been adequately repaired.

If a woman receives a severe tear, a prompt diagnosis and repair is very important to promoting the best possible long-term outcome. If this has not occurred and your tear has either been misdiagnosed or poorly repaired, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation for medical negligence.

Speak to a solicitor

Glynns Solicitors specialises in medical negligence and has extensive experience of supporting claims for compensation for birth injuries, especially 3rd and 4th degree tears. Contact us to discuss your circumstances if you have on-going symptoms from a poorly treated severe tear.

Please call us on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

Free enquiry

Free Claim Enquiry

Complete a short enquiry form and we will contact you.

Free enquiry



"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

» Read More Medical Negligence Testimonials?


Our Expertise

clinical negligence panel

Helping Clients throughout England and Wales

contact us


Free Medical Negligence Guide

'7 Questions You Must Ask Before Choosing A Medical Negligence Solicitor'

Free download