Suffering a severe perineal tear during vaginal childbirth can dramatically impact on a woman’s life. A prompt and accurate diagnosis of any damage followed by a skilled repair is absolutely vital.
An undiagnosed or poorly repaired third or fourth degree tear can cause a catalogue of shocking symptoms:
- Inability to control the passing of wind
- Inability to control the passing of faeces
- Extreme urgency when needing the toilet
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse
- Infections of the perineum
Many women who suffer such an injury find it difficult to leave the home, travel, socialise or work due to their fear of an episode of incontinence. For those women who are able to work, many areas of employment, such as the hospitality industry, retail or teaching, become impossible due to the need for public interaction.
Treating Severe Perineal Tears
Perineal tears are a common occurrence. Almost 90% of women giving birth vaginally will suffer a perineal tear of some degree. There are clear guidelines issued by The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as to the need for thorough examination of women after vaginal birth and the importance of a skilled surgical repair if severe damage has occurred.
When a woman suffers a third or fourth degree tear during vaginal childbirth, it will have damaged her anal sphincter to a lesser or greater degree. If she receives a prompt and thorough repair, it is likely that she will make a good recovery within 12 months. If her injury is not diagnosed, however, she may develop the appalling symptoms listed above. Surgery at a later date may be possible but is less likely to lead to a full recovery.
Diagnosing Perineal Tears
The classification of types of perineal injury during childbirth is clear. The need for a thorough examination of the new mother is also clear. And yet, numerous women continue to suffer debilitating and distressing symptoms because their injuries are not noticed or are misdiagnosed as a less severe tear.
There have been calls for better training in this vital area as lives can be devastated by the long-term effects of the severe anal damage which a vaginal birth can cause.
If your life has been turned upside-down by the symptoms of a third of fourth degree tear, you may wish to consider making a claim for compensation.
The financial impact of restricted employment, or no employment at all, can be reduced with a successful claim.
Speak to a solicitor
If you are suffering with significant, long-term symptoms due to a failure to diagnose or effectively treat your perineal injury, contact us now to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor. We will be happy to advise you.
Make A Free Enquiry
If you, or your family member, has suffered a birth injury tear, please call us now for free, no obligation advice on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile click to call 01275 334030) or complete our Free Online Enquiry.