What is epidural analgesia?
How can having an epidural affect my pelvic floor?
What are alternative ways of coping with labor pain?
The Epidural and Spinal page in the Labor Pain Pergnancy Topic discusses this technique in detail.
episiotomy (cutting the vaginal opening straight back to enlarge it for birth) and vacuum extraction or forceps delivery (assisted vaginal birth). These procedures, especially with use of midline episiotomy (cutting straight toward the anus to enlarge the vaginal opening at the time of birth), greatly increase the chance of a tear into or through the anal muscle. Anal muscle tears can lead to bowel incontinence (leaking gas — and more rarely, feces — or a sense of urgency about elimination) as well as increased likelihood of pain during sexual intercourse. Epidurals may have this effect because they numb women from the belly down. This makes it more difficult both to push effectively and to get into upright positions that can help move the baby out.
You can use many of these, in combination or in sequence.
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Most recent page update: 2/21/2006