The depth of the tear can also vary. It can be superficial and heal quickly on its own or it can be deep, ripping into the muscle underneath the tissue. There are tears even worse than that but they are not as common.
Some doctors recommend an episiotomy, where they surgical cut the perineum right before delivery in order to make more room in the vaginal area for your baby’s dramatic exit. The purpose of this cut is because many doctors believe a clean, surgical cut will heal faster than a tear. However, recent studies prove this is not the case and that an episiotomy may cause more harm than good.
The only real recommended method for prevention is perineal massage. Massaging the area could make it stretchier and help prevent tearing. Also a slower, more controlled labour may allow your body to stretch enough naturally.