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Tearing during Labour

Hi Ladies,

Well I am 5 weeks and 3 days pregnant and whilst my first reaction was that I was absolutely thrilled my second was that I am petrified of the Labour and I am hoping some of you Ladies may be able to help

I am very very worried about having a serious tear during the birth as I often get small cuts during intercourse with DH ...... and so I am thinking that I obviously do not stretch very much????

We have looked into the possibility of going private and have an appointment with an obstetrician in 7 weeks to discuss a private c-section because of this.

What are your thoughts? Are tears really that bad and is there any correlation between tearing and getting small cuts during intercourse?


  • Hello!
    I recently had my first baby, and I've experienced small tears during intercourse before. However, even with a fast labour and birth and an 8lb 3oz baby, I had no tears at all.
    Also, dont forget that a baby comes out gradually and may not be quite as rough on you as intercourse? haha!
    If you are worried, try having a chat with your MW when you see her, before considering a c - section (although it's obviously totally your choice if you want one!)

    Hope you sort everything out and have a happy pregnancy and birth image
  • Thanks for your reply!

    I have booked an appointment with a private midwife as I don't get to see mine until 13 weeks and to be honest I might go completely insane thinking about it until then and make myself worse.

    You've made me feel a little better so thank you for your reply. I feel as though it is irrational to feel calmer about a c-section and all that entails but I think it is the fear of the unknown!

  • That's true! They weren't sure whether my baby had turned for a while and I began to think I might be able to have a c -section and started even hoping that I would!
    I wouldn't worry about it though, giving birth was an amazing experience and I'd do it again in a second!
  • Hi

    You can try pereneal massage in your 3rd trimester which can help to soften and stretch the perenium and reduce the risk of tearing.

    Good luck at MW

    Liz x
  • Hi, I certainly understand your fears, tearing was one of the things that scared me having both my children (though not enough to want a c-section).

    Like the others have said, speak to your midwife and tell her your concerns. I never tore during labour but both children did graze me (which i was told later was worse, because you can't stitch up a graze) but I did have some complications which i won't go into on here. But in all honesty I found every single little bit of pain worth it, and even if I had torn I wouldn't have cared because as soon as that baby is in your arms it's over with and you forget it, even with my 8lb 10oz boy.

    Hubby and I have just started trying and I can't wait, it's all worth it in the end. The thought of possibly needing a c-section terrifies me because it is a major op, but it is down to personal choices I suppose.
  • i often tear slightly during intercourse with OH. I had a second degree tear with my baby, partly because i was induced, and things were rushed. BUT i did not even feel it happening, and they gave me a local when being stitched up. it was not at all uncomfortable after either xxx
  • not everyone tears... just listen to your midwife and hold out the pushing until you absolutely cannot hold it in anymore!!
  • For me, tearing wasn't painful either when it happened or afterwards. I certainly wouldn't opt for a c-sec over a tear (just me, personally).

    I had a second degree tear with my first, probably because rather than giving birth to the head, then waiting, then the body, I was told to just push for all I was worth as her heartrate had dropped and they wanted her out asap. I didn't feel the tear happen. It took nearly an hour to be stitched up (which didn't hurt thanks to a shot of local) and yes I was uncomfortable for a week or so afterwards, but we has sex again after 16 days and it was absolutely fine.

    As lucyah says, the key is listening to your midwife telling you when to bear down or ease off. I did this when delivering my second and just had a small graze.

    I also can't stress the importance of pelvic floor exercises enough - it was my strong pelvic floor that allowed me to follow what the midwife said and (I think) avoid tearing. You know how they say it's the muscles you use to stop a wee? When I was delivering and had to force myself not to push once the head was out to wait for the next contraction, I imagined stopping and starting a wee and just like that I felt almost complete control, it was amazing and empowering! When I could feel the next contraction coming on I could sense just how much pressure to use to ease the body out.

    Not trying to big myself up or anything - just saying that I am CERTAIN the care I took of my pelvic floor helped me to deliver in a controlled way and so avoid tearing - that and listening to the advice of the midwife.

    I thought after delivering my first that I obviously wasn't very stretchy, too - but as I didn't tear at all with my second I think it was all about control at point of delivery rather than stretchiness.

    Best of luck.
  • Hi Ladies,

    Thanks for all your responses! They were incredibly helpful and I feel a little more open minded for when I go and speak to my midwife and obstetrician. It is such a minefield, everyone I have ever spoken to (friends and family) have told me how awful it was and would opt for a c-section no questions asked ..... but the recovery does seem to be an uphill battle.

    Thanks for all your help and I am sure I will be back soon with some more questions!

  • I had a 3rd degree tear with my DD as they needed to use the vontous (sp?) so they cut me and I then continued tearing from the cut! I needed to go to theatre for repair (which they did under epidural) but recovery was absolutley fine. I am now 40+1 with my 2nd and of course I am hoping not to tear this time - at least, not as badly - but personally I would prefer that to having a c-section. Good luck with everything x
  • Hi

    I had a second degree tear. It's funny, I was really scared of tearing but I didn't even feel it when it happened, nor when they stitched it and recovery really didn't bother me at all - I doubt it was any worse than it would have been otherwise.

    So please don't stress too much, tearing sounds scary but it really isn't necessarily that bad and as others have said I would MUCH prefer that than to have a c-section as the recovery is so much more difficult from that by comparison. Also you can do perineal massage during pregnancy to reduce the risk of tearing if you're worried about it, your MW will give you a leaflet with instructions.

    Good luck with everything!

    C image
  • This is one thing that terrifies me to! Im not bothered abotu the pain of contractions cos u can have pain relief for them but its tearing or having an episiotmy that really scares the hell out of me! lol So ur not the only one. And i have shared this info with my midwife but get the ''dont be worrying about that now'' talk and she just said listen to ur midwife. It kind of put me at ease but not really lol x
  • I teared with my daughter and had forcepts and with my son i had a episiotmy and vontous, any cut hurts you but i would much rarther have a cut down there and still be mobile than have a c section and not be as mobile for a few weeks. x
  • I think its the thought of being uncomfortable down there and having that horrible sting when u go for a wee! But to be honest when u say cut down there id rather have a C section than have a 3rd-4th Degree tear down there and be left with loads of scarring which causes problems later on x
  • I had a small 2nd degree tear, but I didn't feel it happen at all at the time. Going for a wee was tricky to start with, but made so much less painful by weeing in the shower! (a tip from the midwife). I can honestly say that I am looking forward to labour this time.
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