Objective: Episiotomy is associated with an increased risk of postpartum pain, bleeding, and dyspareunia. The hypothesis of this trial was that in women with singleton pregnancy, and spontaneous labor at term, use of calendula ointment would reduce pain after episiotomy.
Methods: This was a single-center parallel group randomized trial of women with singleton pregnancies and spontaneous labor at term who were randomized to either use of calendula ointment (i.e. intervention group) or standard care (i.e. control group) after episiotomy. Eligible women were those with singleton gestations in spontaneous labor and vertex presentation at term. Women with premature rupture of membranes were excluded from the study. Women in the intervention group were recommended use of calendula ointment 4 h after the episiotomy and then every 8 h for 10 days. The primary outcome was the pain level. Pain level was self-reported and recorded using the verbal rating scale (VRS). The effect of the calendula ointment was quantified as mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence interval (CI).
Results: During the study, 100 women agreed to take part in the study, underwent randomization, and were enrolled in this trial. Of the 100 randomized women, 50 were randomized to the calendula ointment group, and 50 to the control group. No women were excluded after randomization or lost to follow up.Women who received calendula ointment after episiotomy compared to standard care had a significantly lower pain level starting from day two and during all the follow-up. Calendula ointment also improve wound healing in terms of redness and edema.
Conclusions: Use of calendula ointment significantly reduce pain after episiotomy.
Keywords: Episiotomy; cesarean delivery; laceration; pregnancy; wound healing.