Episiotomy: Reasons, Complications, And Aftercare

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 experience smooth childbirth while some suffer a traumatic moment to the point of near-death.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

What Is Episiotomy?

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.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

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.


Mediolateral Incision

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?

Source: commons.wikimedia.org
  • 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:

Source: pxhere.com
  • 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 a 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.

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on FamilyHype.com) is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a FamilyHype.com.

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