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Is It Better To Cut Or Tear During Birth?

on Oct 20, 2013

by Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
Which is Better During Birth – to cut or to tear?

Which is better during labor and delivery - an episiotomy or natural tearing? Many doctors previously routinely performed an episiotomy, but trends are changing, going toward the more natural tears.

During vaginal birth your vaginal skin, or more specifically, the skin between the anus and the vagina can be torn. If not, the doctor might cut it to help the baby come out. The cutting process is called an episiotomy. You should decide beforehand whether you want to go with the cut or the tear. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

The Tear

There are different types of tears that you might experience. They are as follows. The first-degree tear: Only the skin between your vagina and anus is torn in this case. The second-degree tear: In this case, the skin and the muscle are torn during birth. The third-degree tear: In this case, not just the skin and the muscle around your vagina are torn but also the muscle surrounding your anus. The fourth-degree tear: This tear includes the skin, the muscles surrounding the vagina and the anus as well as the area inside the anus.

The Cut

The cut is also known as episiotomy and in this case, the doctor makes a cut before you tear your vaginal skin and muscle during birth. The cut will make the opening larger so that the baby comes out more easily. The doctor will give you a local anesthetic injection before cutting and thus, you won’t feel anything. This is especially done in the case of a forceps delivery. However, it is up to you to decide whether you want to go for a cut. The doctor will not perform the cut without your permission. In some cases, a cut may be necessary. For example, if your baby is too big the doctor may recommend a cut. The same holds true if your skin is weak and you are physically weak. The doctor may also recommend a cut if this is your first baby. Going for the cut is also recommended for older women. Another case is if your baby is in breech position.

Which is Better: A Tear or a Cut?

That is completely up to you to decide. One way to look at it is that a tear is haphazard and may be wider while a cut is controlled. Thus, a cut can be stitched back easily when compared to a tear. Another way to look at it is from the healing perspective. Apparently, a tear heals faster than a cut. Many women who have experienced both have said that they healed easier with the tear when compared to the cut.

The Bottom Line

Clearly, healing faster is the more attractive perspective and thus, a tear is better. Whether it is a tear or a cut, the doctor will stitch it back fine. He is an expert and he may spend more time if it is a tear but you should not base your decision on that one factor. Surely, you want it to heal sooner and that is why, tear is ideal unless your doctor sees that it is necessary to go for a cut. It may be necessary in some cases as aforementioned. Don’t go for a cut unless it is a necessity. A tear is a safer and a better option.

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Is It Better To Cut Or Tear During Birth?, 5.0 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

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  2. Kim Kardashian Giving Birth in Paris?
  3. Breech Babies: What Can I Do if My Baby is Breech?
  4. C-Section: Giving Birth by Cesarean
  5. Celebrity Moms Who Had a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)

Dr. Prabha Sahgal MD, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialty board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Sahgal holds a B.S. degree from MIT in molecular biology and currently serves on the ConceiveEasy board of directors.

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