Home Health & Fitness What Is An Episiotomy?

What Is An Episiotomy?

by Uneeb Khan

An episiotomy is a cut  (incision) made during childbirth in the wall between the vagina and the anus- an area called the perineum. Episiotomy aims to create more space and prevent the tearing of the vaginal wall. Episiotomy was once a routine procedure. However, now it is done in selected cases.

If you are pregnant and have concerns about an episiotomy, you should talk with a gynecologist. You can consult a gynecologist doctor in lahore.

When Is An Episiotomy Done?

An episiotomy is performed during childbirth when more space is needed to deliver the baby or to speed up the delivery.

To create space

Sometimes, the vaginal wall may be tight for the baby to pass through. If your doctor does not make an incision, it will produce tears in the vaginal wall, and you will have to put more effort into delivering the baby, causing complications. So an episiotomy is performed in cases such as:

  • Shoulder dystocia- when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the pelvic bone.
  • Macrosomic baby- when the size of the baby is too large. It is frequent in mothers who had diabetes during pregnancy.

Need for a quick delivery

In some conditions, there arises a need for an episiotomy when the doctor thinks that the baby should be delivered quickly:

  • Fetal distress: It is a condition when your baby’s heart rate gets slow. It happens when your baby is not receiving adequate oxygen from the placenta. In such cases, urgent delivery is needed to save the baby.
  • Maternal health conditions: If the mother has health conditions like heart disease, the delivery needs to be quick.
  • Maternal exhaustion: In prolonged labor, the mother may become too tired by pushing for a long time. In such cases, the doctor may perform an episiotomy to deliver the baby quickly.

Other Indications

Other indications when an episiotomy is performed, include:

Need for forceps or ventouse delivery

When the baby is not delivered normally, the need for other interventions arises. The doctor may use forceps or a ventouse cup to deliver the baby. In such cases, an episiotomy is done.

To prevent anal tear

When there is a risk of a vaginal tear extending to the anal wall, your doctor may perform an episiotomy to prevent that.

How Is An Episiotomy Performed?

An episiotomy is done under anesthesia, so you will not feel the pain of the cut. The doctor injects an anesthetic to numb the sensations. It is known as the pudendal block. After the anesthesia, your doctor will make an incision downward from the vaginal wall towards the anus.

There are two types of episiotomy incisions:

Midline Incision

This incision is made straight downwards from the vagina. This incision helps quick recovery and is less painful. However, the risk of the cut extending to the anal area is higher in this incision.

Mediolateral Incision

In this incision, your doctor will cut downwards and outwards from the vaginal wall. The risk of the cut extending towards the anus is less in this type, but it is more painful. The recovery of this type of incision is slower.


Episiotomy is a helpful procedure during childbirth to prevent vaginal tears. However, the stitches can get infected. If you have severe pain in your stitches, consult a gynecologist immediately. You can consult the best gynecologist in karachi.

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