Perineal damage

The Perineal Clinic is a specialised clinic that offers follow up for women who have had a tear in their anal sphincter ("back passage") during the birth of their baby. These tears are rare but require more follow up as they can sometimes alter the function of the back passage.

We also see women who are having problems with anal, vaginal or perineal tears not healing within six months of the birth of their baby.

Health issues treated

  • Anal sphincter tears (3rd & 4th degree tears)
  • Anal, vaginal or perineal tears not healing within the first six months after the birth
  • Perineal pain (within the first six months after the birth)
  • Problems with wound healing or infection (within the first six months after the birth)

What we do

All women who deliver at the Women’s and have a 3rd or 4th degree tear (anal sphincter tear) will automatically be referred to the Perineal clinic. These patients receive an appointment to see a physiotherapist from six weeks (at the earliest) after the birth and an appointment to see a urogynaecologist from three months (at the earliest) after the birth. All patients will then be offered a 3D ultrasound and manometry studies to check the healing of the anal sphincter.

Information for patients

Follow up after an anal sphincter tear is extremely important.  Often women will not have any symptoms however, problems can develop later on and the clinic can assist with preventative measures. Follow-up also allows us to identify problems early so they can be treated more effectively.

The 3D ultrasound and manometry study is a specific test we use to determine how well the anal sphincter has healed. It is a particularly important test if women plan on having more children as this test helps the doctors to determine whether a vaginal delivery is safe.

Specialists within the team include urogynaecologists, colorectal specialists, physiotherapists, continence nurses, sexual counsellors and dieticians.


You will need a referral from a GP to attend this clinic. If you have given birth at the Women's, you will be automatically referred to this clinic.

What to bring

  • A referral from a doctor/GP
  • Your Medicare card
  • Your Health Care card (if you have one)