With about 7.6 billion world population, 49% comprises of women or about 3.7 billion. As per Sound Vision, there are about 2 billion mothers in the world, and about 4.3 babies born every second. Imagine how many minds have been thrilled or maybe tormented with giving birth, as not all deliveries or childbirths are the same. It could depend on the baby’s size and the mother’s body. Some smooth experience childbirth, while some suffer a traumatic moment to the point of near-death.
What Is Episiotomy?
An episiotomy is the artificial widening or cutting of the vagina to accommodate the size of the head or when the baby is breech. The midwife slits the perineum or the area between the vagina and the anus to create a wider opening for the baby.
It was in 1742 when Sir Fielding Ould first performed episiotomy as he described the head to be stuck in the perineum and could not come out. However, he clearly stated that the surgical procedure should only be performed as a last resort or in cases of emergency where the lives of either the mother or the baby are at risk.
What Are The Two Types Of Episiotomy?
Midline Or Median Incision
Midline or median incision is a vertical slit or cut. It is the easiest to restore, but the downside of this is there is a higher chance of cutting down into the anus.
A mediolateral incision is an angled or diagonal slit or cut. It could be more painful, but it would avoid extending the cut down into the anus.
What Are The Causes Of Episiotomy?
- When there is a possibility of a vaginal tear which is 95% of the time, especially for new moms
- When the baby is large, and the vaginal opening is too small
- When the baby is in a breech position or when the lower extremities are first to come out
- When the baby’s head is in an abnormal position or when it tilts to the incorrect side
- When the baby’s life or yours is at risk, and there needs to be an emergency delivery
- When expecting twins or more, a vaginal cut provides more space for giving birth to the next baby
- When there was a previous pelvic surgery as this could damage the repair
What Are The Complications Of Episiotomy?
- There is a risk of infection
- The risk of inflammation
- The risk of hematoma or the accumulation of blood at the area
- The risk of bleeding
- The fear of having sexual intercourse
- The pain of having sexual intercourse
Aftercare Of Episiotomy:
- Use of antibiotics to prevent infections
- Use of pain relievers to reduce the pain
- Use of stool softener to aid in a smooth bowel movement
- Use of medicated pads
- Use of a bidet instead of toilet paper when cleaning
- Use of squirt bottle instead of solid soaps
- Application of cold packs to numb the perineum area
When To Call The Doctor:
- When you have foul-smelling discharge from episiotomy site
- When you experience bleeding from the episiotomy site
- When you experience signs of infection such as fever, pain, or swelling at the incision site that does not improve
- When pain medications do not seem to take effect
- When you experience trouble in controlling your bowels or bladder
Episiotomy sounds to be a nightmare, a part of the magical moment of childbirth which most mothers prefer not to talk about. If you are about to give birth and do not want to have the cut, you should choose a doctor who doesn’t perform episiotomies.
Also, it would help if you make your objection clear. Labor and childbirth are already traumatically painful as they are. So when there is a way you can avoid experiencing further suffering brought by episiotomy, make the decision to prevent the unnecessary cut.
What is an episiotomy?
An episiotomy is an incision in the area between the vagina and anus. It helps to expand the opening of the vagina to prevent tearing of the area during the delivery.
Is it okay to have an episiotomy?
It was believed that an episiotomy would heal better than a natural or spontaneous tear. However, there are some instances that it may cause more problems than it prevents.
How do you care for an episiotomy?
You can use pain relievers for that. These include ibuprofen, medicated creams, and local anesthetic sprays, to ease the pain from an episiotomy.
Will my episiotomy tear again?
It may take time to repair the tears in surgery, and it may take several months to recover from it fully. But a lot of women who have another vaginal delivery will not have a severe tear again.
Can episiotomy stitches open?
Sometimes episiotomy stitches do not just come undone. But occasionally pressure or an infection on the stitches can cause the sutures to breakdown. Thus, it leaves an open or gaping wound.
What are the risks of an episiotomy?
The risks of an episiotomy include tearing, bleeding, swelling, infection, and pain during sex.
What is the fastest way to cure an episiotomy?
You can cure episiotomy by using sitz baths, as well as changing your pads every 2 to 4 hours. Just keep the area of the stitches dry and clean
Why would a doctor give an episiotomy?
An episiotomy help prevent more extensive vaginal tears during a woman’s childbirth. The procedure also helps preserve the connective and muscular tissue support of the pelvic floor.
How do you poop after an episiotomy?
Make it less painful on the stitches or tear by using a sanitary pad that is folded. Pressed against your vagina while straining. Wipe from front to back to ensure your stitches are clean.
What should you not do after an episiotomy?
First, patients should abstain from sexual intercourse until the episiotomy completely heals. Also, avoid douching and using tampons.
Can episiotomy stitches get infected?
Infection is possible as with all surgical procedures. If you experience severe pain at the incision site, and there’s redness and swelling around the stitches, call your doctor immediately.
How long will it take for an episiotomy scar to heal?
Usually, it is within ten days. It shouldn’t take more than a month.
Do episiotomy stitches bleed?
Yes, the incision of episiotomy may bleed quite a bit at first. But it should stop once your doctor closes the wound with sutures.
Is it normal for episiotomy scar to hurt?
Yes, scar tissue can develop after episiotomy and can cause intense pain if it gets irritated.
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