For those who have not yet given birth just thinking about child birth can be quite overwhelming. It is associated with excruciating pain and body changes.
What is episiotomy?This is a surgical cut made in the perineum during childbirth. It is done to enlarge your vaginal opening before delivery.
In the past episiotomy was common where the doctors would make a small cut with scissors to help in the delivery process as opposed to letting a woman tear naturally.Allowing a woman tear naturally has benefits eg a woman heals faster and Better. It also tends to be less painful.Even though doctors do not perform routine episiotomies anymore some specific cases will require the procedure eg when the baby is disproportionately big and when the shoulders get stuck in the mothers pelvis.
What is natural tear like?When you give birth for the first time it is very common to tear because the vagina is small and the baby is 3- 6kg which makes sense.90%of women experience some tearing. However it is important to note that most vaginal tears are minor and heal quickly and easily. You can be stitched depending on the degree of tear.
Degrees of tear.They include;1. First degree tear – it is superficial and only involves the skin. You might require some few stitches or not.2. Second degree tear – it is the most common tear. It extends through the vaginal tissues. It doesn’t involve the rectal lining.3. Third degree tear – It involves vaginal lining, the vaginal tissues and part of the anus.4. Fourth degree tear – it is the most severe degree of tear. It involves vaginal lining, vaginal tissues, anus and rectum.
Risks of episiotomy.1. Infections.2. Bleeding.3. Prolonged postnatal healing.4. Nerve damage.5. Painful intercourse due to tough scar tissue after healing.6. Need for stitches usually more than natural tear.
Risks of natural tear.1. Infection during healing phase, but with good hygiene you can prevent this.2. Bleeding often minor.3. The need for stitches, typically fewer than after an episiotomy.
Is a natural tear better than an episiotomy?Current evidence does not support use of routine episiotomy. In most cases natural tear has less risks and often better.