3rd Degree Tear Complications - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am almost 6 months postpartum and still having complications from a 3rd degree tear, almost a 4th degree. I am suffering from some fecal/gas incontinence. I was seen by a colorectal surgeon at 3 months pp. I have to return when I reach the 6 month pp point. They say it can take a long time for this to heal. I have been doing kegels for 4 months now, with no improvement. I am doing about 40 kegels daily and not sure if I am doing enough. I am going to ask about going to pelvic floor physical therapy next. Just wondering if anyone has been through this and how long before I see some improvement? Getting nervous as time ticks on without any improvement. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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#2 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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I had a 3rd degree, too. It's rough.

Kegels alone aren't particularly effective if the muscles can't fully engage. When there is weakness/scar tissue present, they are hampered in their movement, and you can't really strengthen them properly. Hands on, internal pelvic physical therapy is VERY helpful. There is work you can do on your own, as well. I was treated by Tami Kent, here in Portland, who has recently published a fantastic book, called Wild Feminine, about how to self-heal. I highly recommend looking into her book, and finding a practitioner in your area who can help you.

Good luck!

Co-sleeping, Breastfeeding, EC'ing, Baby-wearing, Homebirthing mama to two fabulous girls 6/2007 and 8/2010
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#3 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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I'm 14 mos out & have zero gas continence. I'm not sure it will ever return.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#4 of 7 Old 01-05-2010, 08:23 AM
 
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my problems are pretty much all sexual, but physical therapy helped quite a bit, and I'm not even sure my therapist was very good. They can also evaluate if you're doing the kegels correctly, I read somewhere that most women are doing them wrong, and that can make urinary incontinence at least, worse.

Good luck.
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#5 of 7 Old 01-05-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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i'm so sorry you are going through this. for what it's worth, my tear has healed really well (i'm 12 months pp) but i have sort of the opposite of incontinence. my muscles went into overdrive so it is really hard to let gas/faeces out! the muscles wont contract and relax at the same time. frustrating, but not as nerve racking as incontinence. in the grand scheme of healing, six months is nothing. remember that it takes a long, long time to recover from serious vaginal tears. i wouldn't expect to feel normal for years. you may want to look into acupuncture or other CAMs along with your regular treatment. you may also want to check out www.wholewoman.com. it's a website for women with pelvic organ prolapse, but the posture changes they teach may help you as well. also, if you do need reconstructive surgery, don't hesitate to shop around, or even go to a different state. find the best colorectal surgeon you can!

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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#6 of 7 Old 01-05-2010, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you to everyone for all your advice. 3rd degree tears are not that common anymore, so you tend to fell quite alone at times. I'm so glad I found this forum, it's great.
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#7 of 7 Old 01-06-2010, 12:34 PM
 
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i don't know any statistics off the top of my head, but i know A LOT of women who've had third degree tears. in my immediate circle there are at least 5-6 who had serious, serious tears. you are so not alone! when i bring up tearing with women the flood gates open! i think that a lot women just grin and bare it. i also think that issue of serious pelvic floor trauma is overshadowed by the epidemic of c-sections. i think a lot of women feel guilty complaining or voicing their discomfort because at least they didn't have to be sectioned.

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