Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Real Advice -

I’m preg­nant with my sec­ond baby. Dur­ing my first labour I had a third-de­gree tear – should I con­sider a caesarean this time?

Ob­ste­tri­cian Dr Vi­jay Roach says: A third-de­gree tear is dam­age to the ex­ter­nal anal sphinc­ter, the mus­cle that goes around the anus and keeps the bowel con­ti­nent. If it has been re­paired ef­fec­tively and you have no symp­toms (such as need­ing to rush to the toi­let, dif­fi­culty con­trol­ling wind or soil­ing your­self), you may be able to plan a vagi­nal de­liv­ery next time. Most sec­ond labours are faster and as­so­ci­ated with less dam­age to the per­ineum. If there is ev­i­dence of the anal sphinc­ter not work­ing prop­erly, your mid­wife or ob­ste­tri­cian would ad­vise you to con­sider a caesarean sec­tion.

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