Assumption: Surgical repair is necessary after a first or second degree tear to the perineum.
FALSE (up to 8 weeks postpartum)
These studies indicate that between birth and 8 weeks postpartum, there was no difference in pain or complications between women with tears that were surgically repaired and those with tears that were allowed to heal spontaneously.
This is interesting because it would certainly be nice to allow tears to heal on their own. Unfortunately, there are no long-term studies and one of the studies quoted here did find a difference in how the wound closed so I cannot recommend that tears not be repaired. However, it is nice to know that it is not absolutely necessary.