Childbirth, tear or cut - How common is a tear/episiotomy?
BMJ Group Medical Reference
Most women who have a vaginal birth have either a tear or a cut. A few women have both.
We don't know exactly how many women have a tear in the perineum during childbirth. Doctors and midwives don't always record small tears. Experts think that at least one-third of women in the UK have a tear large enough to need stitches.
In one British study, more than 8 in 10 women had a tear or cut during a vaginal birth. And about 7 in 10 needed stitches.
Bad tears, which go all the way from the vagina to the anus (third-degree or fourth-degree tear), happen less often. The chance of a bad tear is about 1 in 200.
Your chance of having a cut (episiotomy) depends on where you live. In England, about 13 percent of women have a cut. In some eastern European countries, nearly all women have a cut during delivery.
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