Epidural anesthesia, episiotomy, and obstetric laceration

Obstet Gynecol. 1991 May;77(5):668-71.


The relationships among epidural anesthesia, forceps use, parity, episiotomy, and laceration were studied in 9493 uncomplicated vertex deliveries of spontaneous onset and normal course. The use of epidural anesthesia was not associated with an increased incidence or severity of birth-canal trauma. Episiotomy was associated with a decreased rate of perineal laceration, but an overall increase in the rate of perineal trauma. The trauma that did occur with episiotomies was four times more likely to be major than that when no episiotomy was performed.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Epidural / adverse effects*
  • Episiotomy / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obstetrical Forceps
  • Parity
  • Perineum / injuries*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology