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Incontinence After A Missed Perineal Tear

If you suffered a severe perineal tear while giving birth, and this was not recognised and repaired before you were discharged from hospital, it is very likely you are now experiencing serious complications. Of these, one of the most common and the most upsetting is faecal incontinence.

Anal sphincter damage during birth

Perineal tears are unfortunately part and parcel of vaginal births. They will not happen to everyone, and when they do, they will vary in severity. Most will only sustain a minor tear either a first or second degree tear. Some, however, will suffer a more extensive tear either a third or fourth degree tear. These extend to the anal sphincter.

After a vaginal birth, a woman must undergo a genital and rectal examination to ensure any damage is detected and repaired. If a third or fourth degree tear is diagnosed, a repair should be performed in theatre by a qualified colorectal surgeon.

Faecal incontinence after birth

It is extremely important that this examination is carried out and the perineal tear (if there is one) correctly identified. Indeed, the anal sphincter is there to allow you to feel a stool, and also to ensure you are able to prevent defecation until you have reached a toilet. Therefore if the anal sphincter sustains and injury and this is not repaired, the sphincter's level of function will be reduced. This defect will result in some form of incontinence, the extent of which will depend upon the nature of the injury. This may range from incontinence of wind to total incontinence of faeces.

Have you suffered incontinence because of a missed perineal tear?

Evidently faecal incontinence will have a devastating effect upon someone's life and will lead to a remarkably restricted lifestyle. Many women with incontinence say they plan their day around going to the toilet, and do not like to go out for fear of suffering an accident. Many give up their hobbies, socialising and sometimes even cannot continue working.

If this has happened to you, you need to consider whether or not medical professionals are to blame for the terrible complications you are now experiencing. This will be the true if you sustained a third or fourth degree tear, but your injury was not properly diagnosed and repaired after the delivery of your child.

If you believe this may be the case, you need to talk to a medical negligence solicitor about the treatment you received, as you could be the victim of a substandard level of medical care. You will therefore be entitled to compensation for the devastating impact this negligence has had upon your life.

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