Secondary repair of the perineum following childbirth

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2008 Aug;28(6):608-13. doi: 10.1080/01443610802403401.


The aim of the study was to evaluate secondary repair of the perineum following perineal trauma at childbirth. Patients who underwent secondary repair reported with symptoms of superficial dyspareunia, vulvo-vaginal pain, vaginal stenosis and broken or gaping wound. The study included 103 women over a 16-year period that underwent refashioning of the perineum at Northwick Park Hospital by the same surgeon. Among the cases, 81.6% were nulliparous and 18.4% were multiparous. Labour was induced in 30.1%, and 38% of the women required instrumental delivery. The length of the second stage of labour was 89 +/- 60 min for nulliparae and 50 +/- 48 min for multiparae. In 53.4% of the women, an episiotomy was performed. Catgut sutures were used in 69% of primary repairs. Predisposing factors for the need for secondary repair included nulliparity, forceps delivery, episiotomy, prolonged second stage of labour, surgeons' inexperience and the choice of suture material. Secondary repair is associated with a good result. A majority of women who required refashioning of the perineum for superficial dyspareunia presented late after the onset of the problem. In carefully selected women, such cases of superficial dyspareunia are easily treatable and surgery needs to be considered as an option.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dyspareunia / etiology
  • Dyspareunia / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor Stage, Second
  • Lacerations / surgery
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / surgery*
  • Perineum / injuries*
  • Perineum / surgery*
  • Pregnancy
  • Sutures
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult