Wound Healing Research. Wound-Be-Gone® Technology.

Vaginal Lacerations

Friday, December 24th, 2010 

Vaginal lacerations are defined as cuts or tears in the vagina. There may be obstetric and non-obstetric causes for these injuries. Although the obstetric causes are more often common but the other reasons cannot be overlooked. These wounds can be of minor nature or they may be severe resulting in life threatening blood loss.
The traumatic injuries to the vagina may include cuts, tears, abrasions, lacerations, etc. The non-obstetric reasons can be simple as the first time of sexual intercourse or can be due to forced consensual sex or rape. Minor wounds can be treated with minimal intervention as in applying topical agents which can reduce the pain, swelling and redness and speed up the healing. One such good example here is Wound-Be-Gone®. The more serious of these wounds are usually the deeper and extensive lacerations which can cause profuse vaginal bleeding. These types of injuries require immediate and proper medical attention.

The obstetric causes of vaginal lacerations are quite common and the risk factors include: null parity which is that the woman is giving birth for the first time. The vaginal canal is tight and tense just before delivery and as the baby descends it opens and stretches and becomes more pliant. Further deliveries are less likely to cause damage to the vaginal wall. The second reason is the size of the baby proportional to the size of the birth canal. If the baby is unusually big with wide shoulders he or she will likely cause damage because of more stretch and the shoulders might also get stuck while in the process and that is very serious medical condition.

The position of the baby is of significant nature as the normal face down is lesser amount of harm than the face up or breech position. The assisted deliveries with forceps cause more destruction than vacuum extractions. Some of these deliveries might result in second or third degree lacerations. There are a few steps that can be taken prior to delivery which can greatly reduce the risk of these lacerations. The stretch marks on the abdomen are called “Striae Gravidarum” and are considered to be predictor marks of vaginal lacerations. Those women who have less of these marks mean that they have skin with greater elasticity and are less likely to get these wounds as their skin can withstand stretch better.

Similarly, the women who have more of these stretch marks on their skin, the physicians should make an early judgment to give them an episiotomy. Episiotomies are the controlled cut given in the vaginal skin and deep tissues to assist delivery and to prevent the extensive and uncontrolled lacerations in the perineal region during birth. Warm compresses and gentle massage given can also help in the stretching process and prevent obstetric trauma to the vagina. Use Wound-Be-Gone® to reduce the scar marks of an Episiotomy as well as Striae Gravidarum.

There are four degrees of vaginal tears: the first degree involves only the vaginal lining; or the mucosa. The second degree involves the lining and the sub-mucosal tissue. The third degree involves the lining, mucosal tissue and the anal sphincter. The fourth includes all the above and the rectal lining. The third and the fourth type require a skilled surgeon to repair and are more likely to cause complications.