Episiotomy

The perineum is the area between the vagina and the anus. It is made up of skin and muscle. During an episiotomy, an incision is made in the perineum.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occur:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills, swelling, redness, foul-smelling discharge
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
    • Bleeding from the episiotomy site
    • Continuing problems with
      loss of urinary or bowel control

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    The perineum is the area between the vagina and the anus. It is made up of skin and muscle. During an episiotomy, an incision is made in the perineum.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    The incision is made to make the vaginal opening larger during birth. In the past, this incision was common. But it is no longer routinely done.

    Your doctor may do an episiotomy if:


    • The baby is:

      • Premature
        or otherwise fragile
      • Large and the shoulders may be hard to deliver
    • Forceps or a vacuum are needed to assist in the delivery

  • Possible Complications

    Some short-term complications may include:

    • Bleeding
    • Infection
    • Bruising
    • Swelling
    • Difficulty controlling your bowels

    Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Severe scar tissue in the area
    • Prior
      problems with chronic pain in the vulva
    • Short perineum