Pregnancy 6) Episiotomy
An episiotomy is an incision that is made between the bottom edge of the vagina and the anus. The procedure is performed before the baby is delivered. The episiotomy allows more room for the baby's head as it passes through the birth canal. It also prevents tearing of the vaginal wall as it stretches during delivery.
The decision to perform an episiotomy is based on the size of the infant's head and the risk for a vaginal tear. A vaginal tear can be serious, and may extend into the rectum. The episiotomy is performed after numbing medicine is injected into the lower part of the vagina. The incision is then repaired with stitches after the delivery. Women who have delivered vaginally in the past are less likely to require episiotomy.
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