Sep 25, 2023
An episiotomy, which involves making a small incision between the perineum and the bottom of your vaginal opening, may be performed by your obstetrician during delivery. An episiotomy will increase the size of your vaginal opening, which will make it easier for your baby to pass through. As your baby heads out, your perineum may occasionally naturally tear. This is what are known as perineal tears (or lacerations).
The majority of medical specialists recommend that you tear naturally and do not recommend routine episiotomies. However, the procedure is still used in specific situations.
Even though episiotomies are uncommon, your doctor may still recommend one if they believe it to be the safest procedure in some circumstances. Examples of these are:
During a vaginal birth, an episiotomy is performed. According to your obstetrician and your health, the precise process could change.
This procedure is typically followed by an episiotomy:
Incisions typically come in two different forms:
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Similar to perineal tears, healthcare professionals categorise the degrees (or levels) of episiotomy in accordance to the severity of the tear. The levels of an episiotomy are:
In some circumstances, an episiotomy helps in reducing the risk of a poor natural tear. Your episiotomy was performed because it was the most safest procedure for you or your child.
Episiotomy complications can include the following:
It's crucial to remember that a spontaneous tear might potentially result in the complications mentioned above
Since a lot of it is out of your control, it is difficult to prevent perineal tears or an episiotomy. To assist in reducing tears during pregnancy, several healthcare professionals advise extending your perineum.
The likelihood of tearing or needing an episiotomy may be decreased by massaging your perineal tissue (the region between the vaginal entrance and anus) in the weeks before delivery. Although there is conflicting information and some doctors are unsure whether stretching the perineum is effective, it is typically safe.
During the second stage of labour, you can also use a warm compress on your perineum to reduce tearing. This might help in enhancing the tissue's flexibility. To prevent tearing during labour, ask your provider about perineal massage or other methods.
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