First Degree Perineal Tear
It is the least severe type of vaginal laceration involving the lining of the vagina. It does not involve the vaginal muscle and therefore no stitches are required. Recovery is fast and relatively simple.
You will experience mild pain in the first one week after delivery when you cough, sneeze, sit up or have a bowel movement.
Second Degree Perineal Tear
Cut through the vaginal lining and extend to the submucosa (deep tissues) of the vagina. These are the most common type of vaginal tearing which require stitches. The recovery period is also long and you will experience moderate pain whenever you do something that increases pressure down there such as coughing or having a bowel movement.
Third Degree Perineal Tear
Unlike the first two, third-degree vaginal tears are deep cuts that extend from the vagina to the muscle that makes up the anal sphincter. They are complex to repair as each layer is stitched separately. The pain you experience during repair may warrant the use of the use of anesthesia. After the repair, you will continue experiencing pain two to three weeks and you will also take longer to recover.
Fourth Degree Perineal Tear
It is the worst perineal laceration you may experience while giving birth. The tear extends through the lining of the rectum. Though the least common, fourth-degree tears are very delicate to repair. You will be taken to an operating theater where multiple layers will be closed.