EPISIOTOMY::It’s a cut that’s rarely needed

An episiotomy is a standard procedure that’s performed on over a third of all women having a natural birth. But as with so many surgical procedures, it’s not properly tested, and so it cannot be proved to be the safest, or most beneficial, practice.
In fact, new research suggests that the episiotomy should rarely, if ever, be performed. A research team from North Carolina University concluded that the procedure offers no benefit to the woman, and it leaves a legacy that can include incontinence and painful intercourse.
Doctors who perform an episiotomy often cause more damage to the woman than if she had had a natural birth without any intervention. Many of these long-term injuries have been caused by doctors who perform what is known as a ‘midline episiotomy’, compared with the more familiar ‘mediolateral’ incision.
Sometimes an episiotomy is needed, but the rate could comfortably be halved without affecting the birth process.

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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