Slide show: Vaginal tears in childbirth
Illustration of a third-degree vaginal tear
Previous Next 4 of 6 3rd-degree vaginal tear

Third-degree tears extend into the muscle that surrounds the anus (anal sphincter). These tears sometimes require repair with anesthesia in an operating room — rather than the delivery room — and might take longer than a few weeks to heal.

Complications such as stool leakage (fecal incontinence) and painful intercourse are possible. If these problems occur, talk to your health care provider.

Oct. 11, 2019