An episiotomy is a cut in the bottom part of your vagina. The doctor may preform this just before the baby is born. This helps make more room for the baby to come out and could prevent tearing. In many cases an episiotomy is not necessary as the vagina is not at risk of tearing. In some cases an episiotomy can make tearing worse, so some doctors may choose not to cut episiotomies at all.

If you get an episiotomy or have vaginal tearing, stitches will be required after the birthing process is completed. These will dissolve, so there is no need to return to have them removed. It will usually take about six weeks for the vagina to heal, so sexual activity should be strictly avoided for this period. Often it will take longer than six weeks for the vaginal region to feel normal again but there should no longer be risk of injury.