It is very common to experience bruising and tears in your perineum when you give birth as the opening of your vagina and your perineum need to stretch to allow room for your baby to be born.
Tears can occur in the perineum, labia (lips of the vagina) and inside the vagina. The size of the tear may also vary:
• A first-degree tear is a superficial tear to the skin of the perineum.
• A second-degree tear is deeper affecting both the skin and muscle of the perineum.
• Third and fourth degree tears are less common, involving the muscles around the anus (the internal and external anal sphincter muscles) and in the case of fourth degree tears, the anus itself. Your Doctor and Midwife will advise you if you have this kind of tear as the advice regarding healing and care may differ.