Our Service For You

Third Degree Tear
Third Degree Tear Medical Negligence

Is There Any Way To Avoid A Third Degree Tear During Labour?
(3rd Degree Tear Prevention)

A third degree tear can not only cause you a significant amount of pain both during and after labour, but it can also cause long term complications and clearly hinder the enjoyment of your new baby. Is there any action you can take both before and during the birth to avoid or reduce the chance of a third degree tear? This article explores your chances for avoiding a tear.

Why Avoid The Chance Of A Third Degree Tear?

A third degree tear can cause a significant amount of pain and suffering. It is a tear of the vaginal tissue going through the perineal skin and muscles which extend into the anal sphincter. A fourth degree tear would also extend through the rectal mucosa potentially leading to incontinence issues.

The ongoing problems caused by the tear after the birth can include pain during sexual intercourse and pain when going to the toilet.

It is clear, therefore, that every option for reducing or preventing a third degree tear should be examined.

Exercises You Can Perform During Pregnancy

Pelvic floor muscles can be carried our during the pregnancy so that during labour you are able to relax the pelvic floor muscles which will make it easier to deliver the baby. The pelvic floor muscle exercise involves you tightening and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscle.

To find your pelvic floor muscle you need to tighten your muscles as if you are trying to stop yourself from passing water.

Contract the muscles in an upward and inward direction to tighten the pelvic floor muscles, then release them. You should try slow contractions in one session, and faster ones in another (when you release them more quickly). You should breathe whilst exercising and should be able to hold a conversation comfortably.

You can perform the exercises up to six times a day.

You can also try a perineal massage from around 34 weeks of pregnancy. The aim of this is to improve the elasticity of your perineum which can reduce the chances of a third degree tear during child birth.

Use wheat germ oil or K Y Jelly and using your thumb massage inside your vagina from 1/3rd of the way down one side of the vagina, down to the bottom and then up the other side, gradually stretching your vagina as you carry out this movement. You should start to feel a stinging or tingling sensation as you do this. Carry out this message for 5 to 10 minutes a day from the 34th week of pregnancy.

You should discuss these exercises with your midwife and ask her to demonstrate how to perform them to ensure that you are doing them correctly. You should also explain to your midwife your desire to avoid a third degree tear and ask what else you can do to help this cause.


There are very good reasons why you would like to avoid a third degree tear during pregnancy. Unfortunately many people do not consider what action they can take to help this cause until it is too late. Hopefully that will not apply to you and through reading this article and talking with your midwife you will have the opportunity of avoiding a third degree tear and going through child birth without the complications that a third degree tear brings.

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

See our GP Negligence section.

Bookmark This Article?

Can We Help You With A GP Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

Free enquiry


Free Claim Enquiry

Complete a short enquiry form and we will contact you.

Free enquiry



"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

» Read More Medical Negligence Testimonials?

Helping Clients throughout England and Wales

contact us


Free Medical Negligence Guide

'7 Questions You Must Ask Before Choosing A Medical Negligence Solicitor'

Free download