Epiosiotomy Complications

Episiotomy is a surgical procedure where an incision is made between the rectum and vagina for increasing the vaginal opening to help in the easy delivery of the baby. Episiotomy was initially started in 1742 in Ireland for complications in delivery, but was not widely implemented till early to mid 19th Century. Now, nearly 80 – 90 % first time deliveries use episiotomy and 50% of subsequent births.


Most common complications include,

  • Pain:

    Though, anaesthesia is given while suturing, this adds bruises to the vaginal area and the skin between the anus and vagina. Pain can be relieved with warm and cold compress and intake of mild painkillers.

  • Constipation:

    This is the most common problem after delivery, specifically while breastfeeding. Drink more water while feeding baby. Intake of high fiber diet also gives relief from constipation. Most women think that first bowel movement may harm the stitches and they delay going to toilet. This worsens the constipation. It is always advised to use a clean pad or a sanitary napkin at the suture line while passing the first stool. This also helps to keep the area clean.

  • Incontinence:

    In some cases, women suffer from fecal incontinence. This reduces when the swelling and laceration goes down.

  • Discomfort During Sex and Sitting:

    It is difficult for some women to find a seating position. They are advised to use rubber ring or cushion for sitting. It is often painful to have sex after an episiotomy. Some women feel the pain and tightness during intercourse.

  • Scar Tissue:

    Some women have itchy, raised and excessive scar tissue where an episiotomy was performed. A minor surgery is performed to remove the scar tissue.This procedure is performed after 6 months from childbirth.The operation includes cutting the scar tissues and suturing it with small tissues.

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