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What women should know about perineal tears

When women give birth at an Oregon hospital, they may expect the delivery process to go smoothly. Sometimes, though, a woman might incur an injury such as a perineal tear.

According to Parents magazine, a perineal tear is a laceration in the skin behind a woman’s vagina. These tears have varying degrees of severity. Most of the time, women experience a second-degree tear. In this situation, the tear usually extends through the vaginal lining to the underlying tissue. This injury can also take the form of a first-degree tear, which is generally a surface wound. Sometimes, though, these lacerations are more serious. If a woman incurs a third-degree tear, this means the laceration begins to cut through the muscles around the anal sphincter. Women may be more likely to experience a perineal tear if the delivery process is quick or if they are giving birth for the first time. Additionally, women who are overweight may have a higher chance of incurring this injury.

Many women may wonder how they should treat this kind of wound. says that a perineal tear is typically treated at the hospital. Many doctors repair these wounds with stitches and provide instructions so women can treat their injury at home. A woman can usually take care of her injury by keeping it clean with warm water and making sure nothing irritates the site. Some women may find that either heating or icing their wound helps as well.

Most of the time, a perineal tear does not take long to heal. Many women may find that their wound heals within one or two weeks, although the recovery process may take longer if the injury was more severe. Some women may experience pain even after the injury recovers, so it is a good idea for them to continue to take good care of the wounded area.