After giving birth it is not unusual to experience faecal urgency. But if this continues in the long-term, it is important to seek medical attention as there could be an unrepaired tear.
Faecal urgency after vaginal delivery
A vaginal delivery puts tremendous strain upon the pelvic, perineum and anal sphincters. This can result in a loss of elasticity, reducing a person’s ability to retain both urine and faeces.
Faecal incontinence will be especially affected if the anal sphincters tore during the birth. Such an injury is called either a third or fourth degree tear. A third degree tear will extend to the external anal sphincter, while a fourth degree tear will involve both the external and internal anal sphincters.
Faecal urgency may continue in the weeks following the birth, with the new mother finding it difficult to defer defecation. This can result in the need to stay close to a toilet, and the need to wear pads in case of soiling.
Many find that these symptoms improve with time until normal function is eventually regained.
Long-term faecal urgency
Sadly for a small number of women faecal urgency will continue in the long-term. This is much more common amongst women who have sustained a severe tear – namely a fourth degree tear. Although an immediate repair should be enough to avoid faecal urgency, there are cases in which the function of the anal sphincter is permanently damaged.
Continuing faecal urgency may also arise in women who have not been diagnosed with a third or fourth degree tear. If this is the case, it is vital to seek medical attention, as sometimes medical practitioners fail to diagnose and treat severe tears. This will amount to medical negligence, and any woman who has developed faecal urgency/incontinence as a result will be entitled to pursue a claim.
Claiming for faecal incontinence
Unfortunately we hear from many women who have sought medical attention for faecal incontinence, only to be told that they have suffered from a missed tear. This is not acceptable and will amount to a substandard level of medical care.
If your third or fourth degree tear was not repaired immediately after the delivery of your child, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. We specialise in perineal tear claims and can help you get the justice you deserve. If we believe this is a case of negligence, we will pursue a claim on your behalf, ensuring you are awarded a suitable sum of compensation.