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Treatment: Episiotomy

An episiotomy is an incision made in the perineum (the area of tissue between the vagina and anus) to enlarge the birth opening and prevent a ragged tear. The cut may be used before an assisted delivery or if the perineum fails to stretch sufficiently for the baby’s head.

Having an episiotomy

A local anaesthetic is injected into the perineum and a small cut is made during a contraction. The cut is usually made at an angle to avoid the anus, enabling the baby’s head to pass through the vaginal opening more easily.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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