Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Episiotomies in Wide Use Even Though No Science Supporting Them

Wow. This is a shocker. A useless procedure that nets a doctor $400 for a 15 second cut and it's still around. An episiotomy and the "repair" cause the woman untold grief while recovering from the birth itself. They cause pain for months afterward adversely affecting her sex-life.

The most alarming thing? I know women who have asked for one! Clearly, women have been buffaloed about the so-called benefits. There aren't any. There is no such thing as a "controlled cut" when 10 cm head is pushing through a very small and stretchy openening. In fact, violating the integrity of the birth canal opening makes it weaker. Often a woman tears at the end of the cut.

"Episiotomy is one of those practices that became routine in obstetrics based on lots of theory and virtually no evidence that it was beneficial," says Dr. Graham. "Now decades later there is an accumulation of studies showing the practice is actually not beneficial, and in some cases can even be harmful, yet the operation continues to be performed liberally in many parts of the world. This is a prime example of some health care providers not keeping up-to-date with the literature. Women should be talking to their health care providers about this."

Episiotomies should be banned except in shoulder distocia and breech births. And even then they should be used judiciously.
More blogs about the woodlands rita.