Continues to discourage routine episiotomy. as part of the July issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, according to an ACOG press release. A new ACOG clinical management guideline has recommended that the procedure be restricted, although it did not issue any specifics about. Episiotomy is performed to enlarge the birth outlet and facilitate delivery of the fetus. Routine use of episiotomy ACOG Practice Bulletin No.

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This is an update from a prior practice bulletin, which had previously only focused on episiotomy, co-author Sara Cichowski, MDtold MedPage Today. Nonetheless, there is a place for episiotomy for maternal or fetal indications, such as avoiding maternal lacerations or facilitating or expediting difficult deliveries.

The Practice Bulletin provides recommendations to ob-gyns regarding spisiotomy of lacerations, preferred suturing technique, and use of antibiotics at the time OASIS repair, as well as long-term monitoring and pelvic floor exercises.

Moreover, episiotomy has been associated with increased risk of postpartum anal incontinence. Any women choosing cesarean delivery should be aware of the increased morbidity associated with cesarean delivery, as well as the potential need for cesarean delivery in future pregnancies.

Finally, as part of its efforts to provide performance measures for pay-for-performance reimbursement plans, ACOG proposed that physicians who perform episiotomy should include information about the percentage of their patients for whom episiotomy is indicated in the delivery notes.

Explain to patients who ask that episiotomy does not reduce the risk of urinary incontinence. Postpartum pain is reported to be reduced with this technique, as is postpartum dyspareunia.

Perineal massage during the second stage of labor was also linked with a reduced risk of third-degree and fourth-degree tears compared with “hands off” the perineum, the authors wrote RR 0. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use.

ACOG: New Guidance to Prevent Vaginal Tearing During Delivery | Medpage Today

However, cesarean delivery may be offered epjsiotomy a woman with a history of OASIS if she experienced anal incontinence after a previous delivery; she had complications including wound infections or need for repeat repair; or if she reports experiencing psychological trauma as a result of the previous OASIS and requests a cesarean delivery.


Cichowski added that even in patients who have severe lacerations, such as obstetric anal sphincter injury, the vast majority could have a vaginal delivery in subsequent pregnancies. Cichowski said that while overall rates of this procedure have fallen, there are some data to indicate there are regional differences, where some individual practitioners will routinely perform episiotomy.

Both of these recommendations have been classified as Level A based on good and consistent scientific evidence. Although between 53 percent and 79 percent of vaginal deliveries will include some type of laceration, most lacerations do not result in adverse functional outcomes.

The best available data, according to ACOG, “do not support liberal or routine use of episiotomy. A meta-analysis found significantly reduced third-degree and fourth-degree lacerations relative risk 0.

ACOG Recommends Restricted Use of Episiotomies | Medpage Today

Women’s Health Care Physicians. Similar results were seen for studies examining delayed pushing between 1 hour and 3 hours of full dilation. Cancer Patients and Social Media. Other Level A recommendations for clinical practice offered by the authors included: Washington, DC — Obstetrician-gynecologists should take steps to mitigate the risk of obstetric lacerations during vaginal delivery, rather than using routine episiotomy, according to a new Practice Bulletin from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ACOG.

The authors note that warm compresses “have been shown to be acceptable to patients. Restricted use of episiotomy is still recommended over routine use of episiotomy. Cancer Patients and Social Media. End-to-end repair or overlap repair is acceptable for full-thickness anal sphincter lacerations A single dose of antibiotic at the time of repair is recommended in the setting of obstetric anal sphincter injury.

The guideline noted that recent systemic reviews have estimated that an episiotomy is performed in about one in three vaginal births. Perineal massage, either antepartum or during the second stage of labor, can decrease muscular resistance and reduce the likelihood of laceration.


The guideline attempted to put aacog rest two widely held beliefs about episiotomy — that the procedure lowers the risk of incontinence by reducing pelvic floor damage and that it reduces the rate and severity of perineal lacerations. Data show no immediate or long-term maternal benefit of routine episiotomy in perineal laceration severity, pelvic floor dysfunction, or pelvic episiohomy prolapse compared with restrictive use of episiotomy. Nonetheless, the ACOG Practice Bulletin stated that there is not enough objective evidence to provide “evidence-based criteria to recommend episiotomy.

But this procedure is associated with a greater risk of extension to include the anal sphincter third-degree extension or episkotomy fourth-degree extension. Studies have shown that a majority of women with previous OASIS have had subsequent vaginal delivery. Explain to patients who ask that episiotomy may be used when the obstetrician believes it is needed to avoid lacerations or to facilitate a difficult delivery.

ACOG Recommends Restricted Use of Episiotomies

National episiotomy rates have decreased steadily sincewhen ACOG recommended against routine use of episiotomy; data show that in12 percent of vaginal births involved episiotomy, down from 33 percent in Moreover, use of warm compresses on the perineum during pushing can reduce third-degree and fourth-degree lacerations. These prophylactic interventions may also be advantageous for women with previous OASIS during future pregnancies.

A new ACOG clinical management guideline has recommended that the procedure be restricted, although it did not issue any specifics about indications for use. Studies on birthing positions had mixed resultswith no clear consensus on any birthing position being associated with a reduced risk of lacerations or episiotomy.