Childbirth Injuries - perineal tearing


Childbirth injuries may include perineal tears (including 3rd or 4th degree) or pain and muscle weakness experienced following vaginal delivery (with or without episiotomy or instrumental delivery).

While some women recovery quickly from their delivery, others find that they have quite significant discomfort and changes in function.

Why is this occurring?

  • Instrumental Delivery (forceps or ventouse/vacuum)
  • Large Baby (especially birthweight >4kg)
  • Prolonged Second Stage of labour
  • Weak pelvic floor muscles
  • Nerve damage
  • Hypersensitivity of the nerve structures
  • Apprehension following a difficult birth

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Excessive pain when attempting to sit
  • Excessive swelling/ bruising in the perineal area
  • Pain/ Apprehension when passing urine or bowel motions
  • Pain when returning to sex
  • Decreased sensation to empty the bladder
  • Urinary (bladder) or faecal (bowel) incontinence
  • Urinary or faecal urgency

What can be done to help me?

A comprehensive assessment of your pelvic floor muscles and symptoms can be performed to determine the most appropriate forms of treatment.

Treatment options include:

  • Pelvic Floor muscles strengthening
  • Pelvic Floor muscle relaxation
  • Perineal/ scar massage/ desensitization
  • Education about good bladder and bowel habits
  • Education about appropriate and safe return to exercise