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Home > Wellness > Health Library > Recovery From an Episiotomy or Perineal Tear
If you had an incision (episiotomy) or
a tear in the area between your vagina and anus (perineum)
during delivery, your doctor or nurse-midwife will repair it with stitches,
local anesthetic. An ice pack will be placed against
your perineum to ease pain and swelling.
Recovery from an episiotomy or tear can be uncomfortable or quite
painful, depending on how deep and long the incision or tear is. Pain typically
affects sitting, walking, urinating, and bowel movements for at least a week.
Your first bowel movement may be quite painful. An episiotomy or tear is
usually firmly healed within 3 weeks but can take longer.
To reduce pain and promote healing:
Call your health professional immediately if
you develop severe pain, fever, or uneven swelling, or if the wound begins to
weep fluid, separate, or smell bad.
Call your health professional today if you
develop moderate pain, a low-grade fever below
100.4°F (38°C), increased
redness or swelling, or increased pain when urinating or having a bowel
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofNovember 20, 2015
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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