Slide show: Vaginal tears in childbirth
Photo of a woman talking to her doctor
Previous Next 6 of 6 Easing discomfort

Your health care provider will evaluate your recovery at your postpartum checkup, typically six weeks after delivery. If you've had a third-degree or fourth-degree vaginal tear, you might need to see your doctor more often to ensure early detection of any problems. Tell your health care provider if you're experiencing severe, persistent or increasing pain, which could be a sign of infection. If you experience complications from a vaginal tear, you might be referred to a urogynecologist, colorectal surgeon or other specialist.

To ease discomfort while you're recovering:

  • Sit on a pillow or padded ring.
  • Cool the wound with an ice pack, or place a chilled witch hazel pad between a sanitary napkin and the wound.
  • Use a squeeze bottle to pour warm water on your perineum as you're passing urine.
  • Sit in a warm bath just deep enough to cover your buttocks and hips (sitz bath) for five minutes. Use cold water if you find it more soothing.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Ask your health care provider about a numbing spray or cream, if needed.
  • Talk to your health care provider about using a stool softener or laxative to prevent constipation.
Oct. 11, 2019