Is it better to get an episiotomy or tear naturally?

What is your opinion on both? Which did you do? And what are the pros/cons of each? Which is more prone to infection?

I plan on having a completely natural, drug-free delivery, and am starting to wonder if I should get an episiotomy if they say I'm going to tear, or just to tear naturally? What do you think?


Asked by srhmldndo at 2:58 AM on Dec. 6, 2008 in Pregnancy

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This question is closed and filed in the CafeMom Encyclopedia.
Answers (12)
  • The above is called perineal massage and it's very popular in Europe. You can google it for more info. I would do the massage and try to go without either if you can -- BUT, if you trust your doctor I would okay an episotomy if absolutely necessary. Tearing is jagged and heals slower, and some women have actually torn *up* not down. (My doctor had one women tear nearly to her clitoris). I do not believe either is more infection prone, beyond the fact that a natural tear can take longer to heal. Obviously you have to do what you're comfortable with. My first child I had an episiotomy, it wasn't needed on my second (she was smaller). Good luck Momma!

    Answer by Serafyna at 3:43 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

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  • Don't tear at all. It's kinda gross but this works:

    About 3 weeks before delivery, get olive oil and use two fingers and gently stretch your vagina opening in the motion of a U, downwards towards your anus. Do this daily and you will naturally stretch your vaginal opening. This works wonders!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:11 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

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  • My tear with my first child healed much slower and was more painful than the episiotomy I recieved with my second child.

    Answer by heathermarie32 at 3:59 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

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  • i had a tear with the 1st and hopefully not one with this one... i am doing IV meds and will feel it if i rip again... its eaiser to sew a cut rather then a rip and ripping heals slower.. it took 10 weeks for my tear to heal to where it didnt hurt so much.. and took 4 months before i could use tampons... i ripped cervix to retum btw

    Answer by navywifemomkoch at 8:02 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

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  • see I heard that natural tears heal quicker. Something about the jagged rips come togther more naturally and heal up better than a smooth cut epsiotomy. I had an epi with my first and I didn't feel a thing until afterward, of course.

    Answer by MammaMia72 at 8:06 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

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  • I thought so, too, and was a little surprised, but that's how it worked out for me.

    Answer by heathermarie32 at 9:43 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

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  • I agree, do the perienal rub.
    And tear naturally if you have to tear! They heal faster.

    Answer by oliviasmomma09 at 10:30 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

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  • I had an episiotomy with my first baby and ended up having a fourth-degree tear on top of it. She was induced, so it was a hard, fast labor, and she was 8 lb 9 oz. WIth my second, the doc did not think I would need an episiotomy. Her shoulders were wider than he anticipated, and I ended up with a third-degree tear that time (no induction, 8 lb, 10 oz). My fourth-degree tear with the episiotomy healed better than my third-degree tear without the episiotomy. I think I probably tore down the line that was already cut. A natural tear is jagged and not as easy to sew up. The natural tear did get infected also (and I was religious about cleaning the tear every time I went to the bathroom). If you trust your caregiver, I would ask their advice when the baby is coming down and they have an idea of what you're working with. I think I'd lean toward having an episiotomy if my doctor advised it rather than tearing naturally. Good luck!

    Answer by LaurLaur623 at 10:43 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

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  • Tear. I tore while arguing with the stupid doctor with my first because I did NO content to being cut and she planned to do it anyway. I've never needed it again and now use midwives who don't cut(No more fights!). Tears heal faster and they are less prone to being too large(a doctor can't know exactly how much you need to be cut). I trust NO doctor.

    Answer by Pauline3283 at 10:58 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

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  • DO NOT TEAR NATURALLY. They do episiotomies so you DONT tear. Its not good when you tear just get the episiotomy if you need it and you will be fine.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:13 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

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