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.

See more Multimedia Oct. 11, 2019