Professor Ellis Downes, Consultant Obstetrician at The Portland Hospital for Women and Children
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:Concerns about vaginal delivery,