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Is vaginal birth safe after a poorly healed 3rd degree tear?

Hi, I had a 3rd degree tear with my first child and am now expecting my second. There is a fair bit of scarring around the opening of my vagina which has only stopped being painful during sex around eight months ago (My older child is 2). Would a vaginal birth be possible again or am I better off having a C-section? Thanks.

Sarah...
Answer: Hi, It is always better to try for a vaginal birth, even though taht has been lots of damage and scarring to your perineum. You will find that the birth will be much less complicated and you may still tear but it will heal better and will not be nearly as bad. SOme women do find that it can improve the scarring on the perineum after having another child. Talk to your midwife to plan for a slow birht of the baby's head in order to minimise tearing and to give the perineum time to stretch. You can also look at perineal massage and stretching during pregnancy in preparation for the birth. Best wishes, Alex.
Answered: 21 Sep 2010