During a natural birth a perineal tear can occur. This is when the baby’s head passes through the vaginal opening and the perineum is strained. There are different degrees of severity but the majority of tears are superficial and will heal in time. This tear is a laceration of the skin and other soft tissue structures which in women, separate the vagina from the anus.
An episiotomy is usually performed during the second stage of labour if the vaginal opening is not wide enough for the baby’s head to pass through. It is a surgical incision of the perineum and the posterior vaginal wall. The incision is repaired with sutures after the delivery.
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