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Sex Life Destroyed by Third Degree Tear

Sex Life Destroyed by Third Degree Tear

An undiagnosed birth injury can destroy a woman's personal life and result in a claim for compensation.

Impact of a severe birth tear

A common and highly-distressing outcome of a poorly-managed third or fourth degree tear can be the dramatic impact on sexual relationships. Many of the women whose compensation claims we have supported have found that their personal relationships have broken down due to the physical and psychological effects of a birth tear.

A severe birth tear, classified as a third or fourth degree tear, causes damage to the anal sphincter. These are the internal and external muscles which control the bowel and allow the woman to prevent the accidental passing of wind and faeces. If the anal sphincter is damaged, the woman can suffer extreme urgency or bowel incontinence.

Sexual relationships

If a severe birth tear is not diagnosed or is inadequately repaired, these symptoms can become permanent and many women find that they come to avoid sexual relationships for fear of an 'accident' during intercourse.

Some women even develop a fistula or abnormal hole between the rectum and vagina following a fourth degree tear and find that they begin to leak wind and faeces via the vagina.

At a time when a woman is already struggling with the pain, discomfort and physical complications of a severe tear, experiencing problems in her personal and sexual relationships can be devastating. This can easily add to the psychological distress which she is already suffering.

Diagnosis of perineal injuries

The only way to avoid these appalling and isolating symptoms is for the woman's injury to be diagnosed promptly and accurately at the time of the birth. A delayed diagnosis, leading to a delay in surgery or no surgery at all, means that the woman's chances of recovery are significantly reduced.

Some women find that they even have to be fitted with a colostomy bag to restore function as a result of delayed treatment.

Diagnosis of perineal tears should take place shortly after the birth of the new baby. A thorough examination of the woman's perineum and anus should ensure that any sign of injury is identified and classified according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' guidelines. This process, if carried out scrupulously and effectively, should ensure that any birth injury is promptly and accurately repaired.

A failure to diagnose a severe perineal injury, leaving the woman with long-term, debilitating symptoms may be regarded as substandard care and it may be appropriate for the woman to make a claim for compensation.

Speak to a solicitor

If you are experiencing the shocking symptoms of a third or fourth degree tear due to a failure to diagnose your injury at the time of your baby's birth, contact us to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor. We will be happy to advise you regarding the possibility of making a claim.

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

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