First degree perineal tears will typically heal within a few weeks' time, according to Mayo Clinic. Since first degree vaginal tears are the least severe, they tend to heal quicker and easier than second, third or fourth degree vaginal tears. First degree tears are classified as only affecting the perineal skin or the skin around the vaginal opening.
Although first degree tears are the least severe of vaginal tears, the patient can still experience some discomfort during the healing process, especially with urinating, as detailed by Mayo Clinic. To alleviate pain while urinating, warm water from a squeeze bottle can be poured over the area as urine is being passed. Some first degree tears may require stitches.
Second degree vaginal tears are classified as affecting the perineal muscles and often require stitches to facilitate the healing process. Patients with second degree tears typically experience higher amounts of discomfort than those suffering from first degree tears. Third degree tears affect the perineal muscles as well as those muscles around the anus. These more serious tears often require reparative surgery in an operating room and take months to heal. Fourth degree tears are the most severe and affect the skin and muscles from the perineum to the anus and rectum. Like third degree tears, fourth degree tears require more serious repairing in an operating room and take months to heal.