4 Degrees of Perineal Tears (Plus 4 Things You’ll Need!)
A simple, homemade ice pack can make all the difference in the world to sooth a healing perineal tear.
Perineal, or vaginal tears, can occur during a vaginal childbirth. Childbirth, if you think about it, is a pretty traumatizing ordeal for your peri area.
At no other time is it stretched to such an unbelievable limit, so it is no wonder that tearing is so common.
Perineal tears are not created equal; some are minor little tears that heal quickly, while others are more severe and require a lot more time and TLC. Medical professionals categorize perineal tears into four different degrees.
Below is a description of each:
4 Degrees of Perineal Tears
- First Degree
These tears are the ones we all hope for – the skin around the vaginal opening is really the only skin that tears, allowing for a quick and easy recovery.
- Second Degree
A little more tearing is involved in a second-degree tear, which actually tears into the perineal muscle. Some stitches are required in this case; but luckily, healing time is relatively quick.
- Third Degree
After the tearing of the vagina, the perineal muscle, and the around the anus will tear. The healing time for third-degree tears can take many, many weeks.
- Fourth Degree
This entails a tear that reaches from the vagina all the way down to the rectum, making this the most brutal of all tears. Surgery is usually necessary to repair fourth-degree damage, and the healing time can take up to several months.
4 Things You’ll Need
Tearing is uncomfortable and painful. If your tears fall within the more severe categories, then you’ll, of course, follow the guidelines set by your doctor or surgeon. If your tears are of less severity, here are some basic things you’ll want while you’re healing:
- A Peri Bottle
Make sure the hospital gives you one of these – it’ll calm your fears in the bathroom. Using the restroom after childbirth is a messy business; and it’s uncomfortable. A peri bottle is meant to be filled with warm water and used to gently wash away blood, urine, and fecal matter from your very sore nethers.
This product, or any other pad medicated with witch hazel, is gentle and will help you heal. After you have cleaned your peri area, simply place a Tucks where you are torn. These are wonderful at soothing away soreness.
- A Cool Compress
A simple, homemade ice pack can make all the difference in the world to sooth a healing perineal tear. Fill a ziplocked, snack-sized baggie with a little alcohol, and place it in the freezer. When it’s ready, wrap it in a soft, clean cloth, and place it in your underwear, just like you would a maxi pad.
- A Padded Seat
Whether it’s a donut or a soft place to sit, you’re going to need something comfortable to sit on.
Your body is going to need some time to rest, and your tearing is going to need some time to heal; so take it easy, and follow your doctor’s orders to ensure the best recovery from perineal tears.