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Perineal Tear with Delivery
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A perineal tear is a tear that occurs on your perineum during vaginal delivery. The perineum is the area that includes your vagina and anus. A first degree tear is a tear on the perineal skin only. A second degree tear involves the perineal muscles. A third degree tear extends into the anal sphincter (the muscle that surrounds your anus). A fourth degree tear involves the anal sphincter and the tissue underneath it.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher.
- You have increased pain.
- You have increased discharge that has changed color or smells bad.
- You have increased swelling.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Pain medicine may be given. Ask how to take this medicine safely.
- Laxatives or stool softeners may be given. These make it easier for you to have a bowel movement. This can help decrease pain during bowel movements.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Apply ice on your perineum for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
- Keep your perineum clean and dry. Wash your perineum gently with soap and water. Rinse your perineum and pat dry with a soft, clean towel.
- Change your sanitary pad regularly. Wash your hands well before and after you change your sanitary pad.
- Ask about pelvic floor exercises. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you do these exercises within 7 days of delivery.
Follow up with your doctor as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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