Perineal status

Perineal status refers to the state of the perineum after vaginal birth. Perineal status is categorised as intact, first degree laceration, second degree laceration, third or fourth degree laceration, episiotomy or other type of perineal laceration, rupture or tear. An episiotomy is an incision of the perineum and vagina to enlarge the vulval orifice. Data are specific to women who gave birth vaginally.

About 1 in 4 mothers had an intact perineum. Where the perineum was not intact, second degree lacerations were most common followed by first degree lacerations. Only a small proportion of women had a third or fourth degree laceration (less than 3%).

Around 1 in 4 mothers had an episiotomy, and of these 2 in 5 also had some degree of laceration.