Professor Ellis Downes, Consultant Obstetrician at The Portland Hospital for Women and Children
Q I'm pregnant with my second child and am concerned about a vaginal delivery this time, having had 3rd degree tears first time around. How likely is this?
A A 3rd degree tear is a medical description of a particularly severe vaginal tear sustained at time of delivery whereby the vaginal mucosa and muscle of the anal sphincter tear. Unless this is repaired correctly this has the potential to cause faecal incontinence, pain and prolapse. Having had a 3rd degree tear in your first pregnancy you are at increased risk of a 3rd degree tear in your second pregnancy. You should discuss carefully with your midwife and Obstetrician a possible treatment plan to include potential early induction (if you have previously had a very big baby), a planned episiotomy to try to ?reduce the risk of tearing, or even a planned caesarean section – which?can be particularly helpful if there have been problems with scarring and healing the first time round.
For further information or to book an appointment please contact Professor Downes’ secretary:
Telephone: 020 7935 7341 or 01707 873 122
Fax: 020 7935 7342 or 01707 870 825