What is Episiotomy Resource?

An episiotomy is a procedure where the skin between the vagina and the anus (the perineum) is cut during childbirth. It is done occasionally to enlarge the vaginal opening so that a baby can be more easily delivered.

Reasons for an Episiotomy:
Generally, an episiotomy is performed to overcome difficulties or problems faced by mothers during delivery. There exist different conditions when this is undertaken, such as:

  • The baby’s head is too big for the mother’s vaginal opening.
  • The baby is in a breech position (feet or buttocks coming first) and there is a problem during delivery.

Episiotomies were once routinely performed to prevent vaginal tears during delivery. It is also thought to help prevent vaginal stretching and to tighten the vagina after delivery. But of late a lot of controversy comes with this procedure. A systematic review of episiotomies in the U.S. found stated there was no evidence to suggest it improves a woman’s sexual function. The same review, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that women who have an episiotomy have more intercourse-related pain after pregnancy and take longer to resume having sex after childbirth.

Apart from these, mothers who undergo an episiotomy stand an additional risk of:

  • Infection
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Incontinence

What can you Expect after an Episiotomy?
Typically, an episiotomy usually heals without problems and may heal more quickly than a vaginal tear. However, some women experience prolonged pain duringwith intercourse after undergoing the procedure.

Normal activities can be resumed shortly after birth. The stitches are absorbed by the mother’s body and do not need to be removed. Pain and discomfort can be relieved with warm baths and medications.

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