An Episiotomy is a surgical incision in the perineum (the area of skin between the vagina and the anus). It is the equivalent to a 2nd degree tear. Episiotomies are said to speed up the birth by up to 20 minutes.
An episiotomy may be needed for any one or more of the following reasons:
If you have already had an epidural, you will probably not need any further anesthetic. Otherwise, a local anesthetic in your perineum, known as a pudendal block, may be necessary.
The mediolateral cut is angled down, away from the vagina and the perineum, into the muscle. The midline cut is performed by cutting straight down into the perineum, between the vagina and anus.
The following are preventive measures to lessen the chances of needing this surgical incision:
The following are potential side effects of an episiotomy:
If you have an Episiotomy, or tearing, you may want to try some of the following to help ease the pain.
Clearly state on your pre-admit paperwork at the hospital, that you wish an episiotomy not be done unless absolutely necessary.
Reprinted with permission from American Pregnancy Association