Slide show: Vaginal tears in childbirth
Illustration of a vagina and anus
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Vaginal tears during childbirth, also called perineal lacerations or tears, occur when the baby's head is coming through the vaginal opening and is either too large for the vagina to stretch around or the head is a normal size but the vagina doesn't stretch easily. These kinds of tears are relatively common.

Tears that involve only the skin around the vagina typically heal on their own within a few weeks. Some tears are more extensive and require treatment. Your health care provider will carefully examine you after delivery to identify and repair any injuries.

See more Multimedia Oct. 11, 2019