10 answers

4Th Degree Tear...

Hello. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced a 4th degree tear while giving birth and how long it took to recover and heal. I gave birth to my son 6 weeks ago and I still can NOT sit. It is healing slowly. Also, the doctor said I may have to go back in surgery to redo the stitches and remove scar tissues... grrrr Any advice on that??

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Thank you for all your reply. I really appreciate. My tear or I should say tears (because I had the 4 th one which was through the rectum and several other deep vaginal ones) took the doctor 1 1/2 hour to repair with the assistance of an other doctor. Plus I had a very big swollen hemorroid and I was incontinent for 2 weeks after giving birth. I used tucks, rectal ointments, benzocaine spray, sitz bath with epsom salt twice a day, took painkillers and ibuprofen. I sit on a donut cushion. I saw the Ob-Gyn twice before my 6 weeks appointment to check the stitches which were good and infection free. It is just healing very slowly. Maybe because I am little anemic (due to blood loss during delivery) but I am taking my prenatal vitamin which contains iron plus an additional tablet of iron daily for that. Or maybe I am just doing too much activities with 3 kids... I know I need more rest but realisticaly it is not doable. It is just very frustrating not being able to sit and feel pain all the time. I hope I feel better soon. :-)

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Hey I had 2 tears in two different spots and it took me a couple months to fully feel like normal again! Then again I was doing it all on my own since DH was out to sea. But the second time around I had tears in 3 different spots and I felt fine the next day!!

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I also had a 4th degree tear with my first. Most of my tearing was INTERNAL not external! My dr sewed for an hour and then told me she was starting to sew where she typically does for most first births. I think it took her almost 2 hours to finish fixing me after the birth :) I had a lot of pain initially. But it did clear after a 3-4 weeks. I did have trouble w/ sex for quite a while due to all the internal tearing. Went back to my OB 2 or 3 times after my 6 week follow up. She ended up doing a couple of different things to fix the problem. It will get better!

I had a 3rd degree and it still gives me fits, 19 months later. It took about a month to stop sitting on a pillow. I still have issues, and the dr. tells me I'll have to have an episiotomy with my next birth because my previous dr. stitched me up so far. Life... ain't it grand!

Hey I had 2 tears in two different spots and it took me a couple months to fully feel like normal again! Then again I was doing it all on my own since DH was out to sea. But the second time around I had tears in 3 different spots and I felt fine the next day!!

N., OUCH!! I know that hurst. I got a 3+ degree with my twins who are now 12 yo. I would recommend using your sitz bath at least 2-3 times a day. It feels really good and it helps the healing process also take your motrin or what ever they prescribed for you for pain. It will helps with the swelling and the pain. Have you had them check and make sure that it isn't infected? Good luck to you and hope that helps.

Hi N.,

Sorry you're going through so much pain. I, too, suffered severe tearing with my 3rd child (including a severed artery that had to be repaired). The pain was intense for a long time. I can tell you there is hope, however. My baby is now 6 yrs old & there is really no residual problem. The acute pain should start to dull within a couple more months and then it will be a long, gradual road to complete healing. Hang in there.

i had a pretty bad tear as well and thought i was never going to heal. have you tried sitz baths? you should sit in those every night and that helps a lot.

if you are at 6 weeks, it should be time for a checkup soon, right? ask your doctor if it sounds normal. i had 3 episiotomies and the healing took forever. 13 months later and sex is still uncomfortable at times. as much as it stinks, it might be normal for a 4th degree tear to still be hurting you a lot.

I had a 4th degree tear with my son 18 months ago, and I don't have any pain at all now. I do have a left over issue that I won't go into, but it's caused by the fact that the tear went through the muscle, and stopped just short of my rectum. However, the pain was almost gone at my 6 week appointment, but I wasn't healing correctly, so my dr had to do a simple procedure to help it. That caused me to have more pain for a couple more weeks. At 9 weeks my dr. said I'd healed enough that I resume "normal activities", but we waited until my son was 3 months old before even attempting sex. When we did, it hurt - a lot, but got better within a month or so. All of this to say, that it's probably normal you still have some pain, but I would definitely ask the dr if you're still having enough pain that you can't sit without a pillow in a couple of weeks.

Wow, honey! I have never heard of that! I hope all goes well. I had several stitches (but probably nothing compared to your situation) and pushed so hard I caused myself hemmoroids w/my oldest. I sat on the boppy sometimes, so that I could sit, but the pressure wasn't on the hurting parts! hope that helps. Witch hazel pads (tucks) were recommended for me. I would just put one in my underwear (with a pad or pantiliner). It was very soothing. Ask your Dr/Ob first though, because that was 5 years ago and it may have been more for the hemmoroids and not help your tear at all, I'm not sure! I'll say a prayer for you, I can't even imagine the pain you are in, and trying to care for you lil one as well! Not to mention your twins!

I also had a fourth degree tear when I had my second child. My baby is now 14 months old, and I have absolutely no side effects. I don't remember how long it took for the general pain to go away (I just used ibuprofin for pain, even post-delivery), but what I did have a challenge with was scar tissue. At 6 weeks, it still hurt A LOT when anything at all directly touched down there, although I didn't have any problems sitting by that point. I think when my doctor did the 6 week exam, I almost jumped off the table. That being said, it wasn't the tear that hurt - it was the scar tissue which isn't as stretchable as regular skin. My OB said she might have to go back in and re-cut the scar to get it to relax. We never got to that point, though, because by 3 months, the scar had relaxed some. At that point, my OB gave me a surface numbing cream to help us stretch it out at home. It was uncomfortable for months, but I'm sure everything was back to normal by 8 months.

It will heal! Good luck!

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