• Ranked in Chambers & Legal 500 for Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
  • Featured in the Times Top Law Firms 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023 for Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
  • In 2022 alone, we were successful in securing over £91 million in damages for our clients

Vaginal Tear Claims

The specialist medical negligence solicitors at Potter Rees Dolan are here to help if mistakes by midwives or doctors led to you suffering a vaginal tear in childbirth.

We understand that the impact of vaginal tears can be devastating, and that you have likely suffered severe pain and discomfort as a result. We work regularly with people who have sustained serious injuries as a result of medical negligence during childbirth and we are dedicated to providing expert support, advice and care to make your life easier.

The highly reputable clinical negligence team includes Helen Dolan, Lesley Herbertson and Gill Edwards, who have more than 60 years’ experience between them and who are all featured in the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers guides.

The team offers a highly personal service, working to give their clients a voice when things have gone wrong and is dedicated to improving standards in healthcare.


Helen Dolan was very efficient and courteous and, in many areas exceeded, our expectations. All members of staff were very approachable and helped to make a very difficult situation more bearable.”

Mrs H, Birmingham

“I am delighted with the level of support I have received. In particular, Lesley's explanation of the Part 36 process and achievement of early settlement through informed recommendations. This experience is just what you need when you are left vulnerable.”

Ms Turner, Manchester

“Friendly, understanding, clear and accommodating. Took the time to explain for decisions and legal processes. Exactly the right balance of direction and recommendation. Very personable service, can't fault the service. From receptionists to solicitors to specialist help.”

Mrs B, Turton

“Just want to say thank you very much for all you have done Lesley. ‎ Not only have you done a very goodt your supporto my wife and me has been outstanding and it's not all been about our son. I was very impressed with the way you pushed that little bit further. ‎I thought you were a great team.

We are very pleased with and I like the way you for granted always looking at detail. Look forward to working with you on the stages ahead.”

Mr W, Cheshire

Read more testimonials from our clients here.

To speak to a member of our specialist team about your injury, call us on 0800 027 2557 and you will be able to speak to one of our senior solicitors who will spend time going through the legal process with you.

You can also arrange for us to get in touch with you by completing the online contact form on the side of this page or on our contact page. If you have someone specific in mind that you would like to speak to, visit their profile on our people page.

What is a vaginal tear/anal sphincter?

There is usually no way to predict that an expectant mother will sustain a tear during childbirth, and they are a risk. However, some tears are more severe because of sub-standard treatment and some are either or not repaired properly which can lead to long term problems.

Following childbirth, obstetricians and midwives should check for tears and other injuries and on relevant treatment.

Vaginal tears can vary in severity, ranging from those affecting only the skin around the vagina, which typically heal within a matter of weeks, to more extensive tears that can take much longer and in some cases require surgery. Excessive pain following this type of injury may be a sign of an infection.

How can Potter Rees Dolan help?

Potter Rees Dolan’s clinical negligence team has earned a reputation as one of the very best in the UK. Boasting a combined experience in serious injury law of over 60 years and comprehensive medical insight, the team has an unwavering dedication to helping families recover the compensation they deserve.

About Helen Dolan, head of the department, Chambers 2019 noted that she “regularly handles complex claims”, while highlighting a quote from a client praising “her attention to detail and knowledge of the case, inside and out”.

The same publication said Lesley Herbertson “is very good on the complex details of the case and is able to translate this to clients”.

Meanwhile, Gill Edwards is described as being "incredibly good with clients - they really warm to her", and garnered praise from a client, who said: "She is very good on the medical details."

Additionally, our entire clinical negligence department as a whole received a recommendation from Chambers 2019, which described them as “a well-regarded team with an impressive caseload of complex clinical negligence work”.

Our clients regularly tell us that it is the empathy and care with which we act that sets us apart from other law firms. We specialise in serious and catastrophic injuries, so we know how difficult it can be to live with severe disability. It is our aim, therefore, to make the claims process as stress-free for you and your family as we can.


In most cases, clinical negligence cases are funded on the basis of a “no win, no fee” agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. This means we can look into your potential claim and investigate whether you will have to pay any costs if the case is not successful. We will discuss how a Conditional Fee Agreement works at our first meeting.

You might already have the benefit of a legal expense insurance policy, and we will always start by looking into whether you can use the same policy before considering whether a Conditional Fee Agreement is more appropriate.

What happens next?

Initially, we will discuss your circumstances in order to gain a clear understanding of your case, and to determine whether or not your claim can be pursued. We will then help you to gather all the evidence required, and build a strong case in order to give you the best possible chance of recovering compensation.

We will then obtain all relevant medical records and go through each of these with you. We then instruct independent experts in the appropriate disciplines to advise on whether or not you or your family member has received substandard medical care.

Once we have supportive expert evidence, we will commence court proceedings and progress the claim as quickly as possible, whilst always looking at whether there is any way that the case can be properly settled early.

Contact us today

If you believe you may be entitled to compensation following a vaginal tear, contact us by calling 0800 027 2557. You can also arrange for us to get in touch with you by visiting our contact page. If you have someone specific in mind who you would like to speak to, visit their profile on our people page.


What are the symptoms of vaginal and anal sphincter tears?

Vaginal tears are characterised by pain and irritation in the affected area, as well as the presence of bleeding.

  • Superficial tears are associated with mild pain and small amounts of blood; these types of injury will usually heal on their own without treatment if left alone.
  • Serious tears will cause more severe pain and heavy bleeding, and will require surgery to treat.

Meanwhile, anal sphincter injuries are associated with the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the affected area
  • Pain during sex
  • Faecal incontinence or anal leakage
  • Uncontrolled flatulence

What are the causes of vaginal and anal sphincter tears?

Tears such as these can occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • If the baby is particularly large
  • If the baby’s shoulder gets lodged behind the pubic bone
  • If the second stage of labour takes longer than expected

Injuries of this type can have considerable long-term effects if they are not treated correctly. Vaginal, perineal and anal sphincter tears can lead to the following:

  • Anal fistula, or the growth of a small channel between the skin around the anus and the end of the bowel
  • Infection
  • Incontinence
  • Severe pain and discomfort
  • Fear of having sex or giving birth
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

How are birth injuries identified?

During childbirth, other forms of injury may occur, including damage to the anal sphincter. A full inspection of the perineum, vagina and anus is usually carried out after a delivery, and healthcare professionals should spot any injuries before a mother is allowed to leave the hospital.

You can read more about how to claim compensation for birth injuries here.

Useful Information

Bartholin’s cyst

What is Bartholin’s cyst?

Also known as Bartholin’s duct cyst, it is a small sac of fluid that is found inside the opening of a woman’s vagina, within the Bartholin’s glands.

What are Bartholin’s glands?

These glands secrete fluid, used as lubricant during sex, into the vagina. They can become blocked and consequently expand to form a cyst. The exact reason for the blockage to occur is unclear but some links have been made with bacterial infections.


A Bartholin’s cyst typically occurs as a small, painless lump and is often identified during routine cervical screening examinations.

However, it can become infected, causing it to swell, become uncomfortable and affect the outer pair of lips surrounding the vagina. An infection can also lead to an abscess developing within one of Bartholin’s glands. If the area becomes swollen, tender and hot, and you have a temperature, that could indicate an abscess.


Treatments for the abscess can include antibiotics to clear the infection that caused the blockage. Alternatively, the abscess or cyst may be drained, which should reduce the chances of the cyst developing in the future.

If these treatments are not effective, or if a woman experiences recurring cysts, then the Bartholin's gland may be surgically removed. However, risks of this type of surgery can include bleeding, bruising and infection of the wound.


This is a surgical technique used to repair a pelvic organ prolapse to restore the vagina to its normal position and function.

Reconstruction can be made using an open abdominal technique or through minimally invasive surgery such as a laparoscopy, depending on the severity of the pelvic prolapse.

A permanent synthetic mesh is used as a graft to cover the front and back surfaces of the vagina. The mesh is then attached to the tail bone and covered by a layer of tissue which lines the abdominal cavity called the peritoneum which prevents the bowel getting stuck to the mesh.

Although the majority of women fully recover from this surgery, there is a small risk that a prolapse can develop in another part of the vagina which could require further surgery.

Other complications can include; pain during intercourse, exposure of the mesh in the vagina and damage to the bladder, bowel or ureters. There are also more general risks associated with this surgery such as wound infection or a urinary tract infection.

Pages in this Section

View All

By filling out this form you are authorising Potter Rees Dolan to use the details you provide to contact you regarding your potential claim. Read our Website Privacy Notice.

Contact Us