If you do suffer from a tear during labour then you will usually receive perineum repair from an experienced surgeon to help you begin the healing process. If you have suffered a second, third or fourth degree tear you will need the muscle and skin to be stitched together so that the wound can start to mend and heal. This surgery will usually be done as soon as possible after you have given birth and you will be given a local anaesthetic in your vaginal area so that you don’t feel any pain during the process. This is generally the only surgical intervention that you will need, although if you have a serious perineum tear you may need ongoing treatment to make sure that everything is healing properly. Most women will have their tear checked at home by a visiting midwife or health visitor so do tell them if you are experiencing any issues.
Of course there are lots of perineum tear treaments that you can do at home as well to help your tear to heal as quickly and safely as possible. It is usually expected that a minor tear will take 2-3 weeks to heal so you may still feel some discomfort during this period but if you follow our guidelines below they will really help your body to start to repair itself.
Pelvic floor exercise is key to repairing the muscles as it encourages blood flow and decreases the chance of infection.
Keeping your perineum tear clean and preventing infection
A common side effect of perineum repairor perineum repair is an infection in the stiches and area around the tear. This can be unpleasant and painful and may require antibiotics so you really do want to prevent it happening. The best way to prevent infection is by practicing good vaginal hygiene and keeping that area scrupulously clean. Showering or bathing every day is vital as is changing your towels on a regular basis. It is also important to keep clean after going to the toilet because urine and faeces can spread bacteria to the perineal area.
However with a new baby in tow it’s not always practical to jump in the shower every time you go to the loo! That’s why lots of women choose to use a perineal bottle like the Femette to help with perineal area specific washing. The Femette is specially angled and ergonomically designed to help clean your perineal area without causing a mess.
Perineum teat treatments to sooth and help promote healing
A perineal bottle also has the added benefit of soothing any pain in your perineal area. Women often experience a burning pain on going to the toilet as the urine touches the sore stiches – ouch! However pouring water over the area can dilute the urine and ease any discomfort. Midwives often recommend using a jug of water in the bathroom to do this but this can be really messy and of course it means you are housebound. That’s why using Femette is the ideal solution as its mess free and you can take it out and about with you so you can go about your day to day life without worrying about pain when you need to nip to the loo.
Witch Hazel is a great soothing treatment to cool down a painful tear and can be found at most chemists or health stores. A daily bath is also recommended to help to relax and sooth sore stiches and adding sea salt or an essential oil such as lavender (both of which have antiseptic properties) can also promote healing and are ideal perineum tear repair.