Purpose: The effectiveness of a vaginal dilatator (Epi-no) in avoiding episiotomies and improving the fetal outcome was examined.
Data sources and methods: Fifty pregnant women were included in our prospective study and took part in the prepartal birth training program with Epi-no. Matched-pairs were compared for the rate of episiotomy and perineal tears, neonatal APGAR score, average time of training, duration of labour and analgesia during delivery.
Results: We found a significant reduction in the rate of episiotomies in the group of women who participated in the birth training program with Epi-no (EG: 49%) compared to women who did not take part in our training program (NEG: 82%). Also the rate of perineal tears was twice as high in the latter (4% vs. 2%). Moreover, children of women of the EG showed better one-minute-APGAR-scores. In addition to this we found a significant reduction in the average duration of the second stage of labour in the EG (29 min) if compared with the NEG (54 min). Women in the EG had a lower rate of PDA (16% vs. 36%) and needed less analgesics than those in the NEG. Women of the EG who delivered without episiotomy had trained on average two days longer than women who had had an episiotomy.
Conclusion: Birth training with Epi-no decreases the rate of episiotomies in primiparous significantly.