Is there any difference between tearing and being cut?

Well, the obvious one is that you tear but the midwife or doctor cuts you. Some feel, where possible, it is better to let you ''own'' tearing, rather than let someone else cut you, from a pyschological point of view. A cut, though, is usually easier to stitch. In the studies there is little difference found in say, healing, infection or recovery from a tear or cut. Every situation is different and needs to be judged at the time. An episiotomy (cut) is recommended usually when it is anticipated that if left to tear, you would tear extensively.
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