During childbirth it can be common to sustain a tear to the vagina and these do not normal require any further management. For some women this tear also involves the muscles around the back passage (anal sphincter muscles). These muscles help control opening your bowels and prevent leakage of wind or bowel motions.

You will be told at the time of your delivery if you have a tear involving these muscles; it is called a 3rd or 4th degree tear. Tears involving this muscle need to be seen in our clinic normally around 12 weeks after your delivery.

Most women do not develop any on-going problems from a tear like this; however some women can find it difficult to control their bowel motions and may have to rush to the toilet, or leak wind or poo.

During this clinic we will explain to you about the type of tear you have had. We may arrange for you to have further investigations and will make plans about how you will deliver your baby if you were to have another baby. If you have any questions about your delivery or ongoing concerns about your tear we can discuss them at this appointment.

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