If you have sustained a third degree tear while giving birth, you will want to know what the prognosis for recovery is.
Recovering from a third degree tear
A third degree tear is an injury that can be suffered by women during a vaginal birth. It is a tear that involves the vaginal wall, perineum and anal sphincter. Thankfully only 9% of women will suffer a third degree tear in the UK as it is a serious injury that requires surgical repair.
A third degree tear will be painful in the weeks following the birth. Many women will have difficulty sitting for long periods, passing bowel motions and walking long distances. These symptoms should improve within months, with the majority of women making a complete recovery. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) estimates that 60 to 80% of women who sustain an obstetric sphincter injury will be asymptomatic within 12 months.
As long as a woman has fully recovered from a third degree tear, she can go on to have another vaginal delivery in the future.
Long-term complications from a third degree tear
Around 20 to 40% of women will continue to have symptoms a year after suffering a third degree tear. Ordinarily these symptoms will include:-
- Perineal pain;
- Pain during sex;
- Faecal urgency;
- Faecal leakage and incontinence;
- Difficulty controlling flatus (wind).
These problems can be improved with pelvic floor exercises, physiotherapy and other medical procedures such as sacral nerve stimulation.
Treatment may prove effective for some women, but sadly there are those who will suffer long-term complications as a result of a third degree tear. This is much more likely to occur in women whose third degree tear was not diagnosed and repaired shortly after the delivery (known as a primary repair). Unfortunately these complications can be permanent, and can worsen with age and the onset of the menopause.
Claiming for third degree tear complications
If you have developed complications because your third degree tear was not recognised and repaired after the birth, you will have been harmed by a substandard level of medical care. You will therefore be entitled to claim compensation for the physical, emotional and financial damage you have endured.
To start a third degree tear claim, please get in touch with us today. We specialise in third and fourth degree tear claims and can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Claims must be made within three years of the event, so it is important not to delay in seeking expert legal advice.
Free, No Obligation Enquiry