Severe anal injuries (OASI) caused during vaginal childbirth can cause distressing and debilitating life-long physical effects. But the problems don’t stop there.
Physical Effects of Perineal Tears
If a severe perineal tear (i.e. a third or fourth degree tear) is not diagnosed and repaired at the time of the birth, the new mother can face significant, long-term, physical symptoms such as the following:
- Inability to control the passing of wind
- Inability to control the passing of faeces
- Urgency when needing the toilet
- Leakage of faeces via the vagina
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse
The management of these physical symptoms can become the focus of a woman’s life in an attempt to continue to function normally. However, the broader impact can resonate through every aspect of her existence.
A Woman’s Working Life
The majority of women giving birth will need to return to work shortly after the birth of their child.
But for a woman who is unable to control the passing of wind or the release of faeces, this can be a harrowing time. For some, especially those who work in a profession that requires an interface with the public, it can be nigh-on impossible. A woman who had been developing a career in retail, education or hospitality, for example, may find that her chosen path is no longer open to her.
Travelling to work can alone require high levels of planning. For some women, travelling via public transport or for any significant distance becomes completely impractical.
Social and personal life
Many women who suffer with a severe perineal tear find that their social life is dramatically affected by their physical symptoms. What had once been an enjoyable occasion becomes something stressful and potentially highly embarrassing.
Likewise, supporting the social development of their child can also be restricted as trips to the playground or swimming pool, for example, can prove to be impossible.
Many women also find that the embarrassment and pain of severe perineal trauma has a considerable impact on their sexual relationship.
The combined physical, social, personal and professional effects of severe perineal trauma can understandably cause significant emotional distress. Facing a lifetime of physical distress as well as social and professional restrictions requires major psychological adjustment.
Knowing that these circumstances and outcomes could have been avoided with a better quality of medical care, can make the devastating and life-changing effects much harder to bear.
If you are suffering the long-term debilitating effects of an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed perineal tear, you may wish to consider making a claim for compensation.
Contact us to discuss your situation with a specialist medical negligence solicitor. We have supported numerous women in claims for childbirth negligence and would be happy to advise you.
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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.