A vaginal tear most commonly occurs during the birth of a baby, when the baby’s head stretches the opening of the vagina. Often the walls of the vagina can stretch sufficiently without breaking, but if not then there is a danger that a tear can occur. During the birth doctors may carry out an episiotomy, which involves making an incision in the perineum, the area between the rectum and the vagina. An uncontrolled birth can occasionally cause severe tearing between the vagina and the anus, so an episiotomy can relieve the pressure. Treatment for vaginal tearing normally involves stitching of the wound, and recovery is normally made within 3-6 weeks. There are secondary complications that can occur, including infection of the perineum area, so it is important for sufferers to always wipe front to back to help minimise the risk of infection.
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