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Long-term Perineal Tear Symptoms

Long-term Perineal Tear Symptoms

If you are continuing to suffer with severe symptoms some considerable time after the birth of your baby, it is possible that you have an undiagnosed anal sphincter injury or that a diagnosed injury has been inadequately repaired.

Perineal tear symptoms

Long-term symptoms of a severe childbirth anal injury can include the following:

  • Inability to prevent the passing of wind
  • Inability to prevent the passing of faeces
  • Extreme urgency when needing to go to the toilet
  • Infections of the perineum/vaginal area
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • Leakage of wind and faeces from the vagina if a fistula has developed

The knock-on effects of a misdiagnosed perineal tear can be wide-ranging, affecting many aspects of the new mother's life.

Medical treatment:

She may need to undergo secondary or delayed surgery once an accurate diagnosis has been achieved in order to try to resolve the injury. However, such surgery is less likely to be successful than had the perineal tear been repaired competently at the time of the birth.

She may need to work with a physiotherapist to try to resolve some of the bowel control issues.

She may require a colostomy to carry out the functions of the bowel on a temporary or permanent basis.

Practical effects

  • Returning to work may be very difficult. The woman affected is likely to need easy access to a toilet and may feel unable to work at all in some areas of employment that require regular interaction with the public such hospitality or education.
  • Attending medical appointments and undergoing surgery if necessary is likely to impact on the woman's ability to support her children as well as affecting her financial situation
  • Travelling may become very difficult due to loss of access to a toilet and the woman can easily become reluctant to leave the home for this reason.
  • Supporting her child or children in social events can be difficult for a woman who has lost control of her bowels.

Financial effects

Where a woman is unable to return to work or is restricted either in the type of work she can undertake or the hours she can manage, it is likely that her income will suffer.

Many woman who have suffered severe perineal damage also suffer psychological damage. The shock of such a distressing and embarrassing injury in comparison with the expectation of returning home with her child can be hard to cope with.

Increasing social isolation due to fear of bowel 'accidents' can also take its toll.

Medical negligence

If you are suffering with on-going symptoms of a severe 3rd or 4th degree tear due to a failure by medical professionals to diagnose and repair your injury, contact us today.

We have supported numerous women in making claims for the effects of such negligence and will be very happy to advise you.

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

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