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Birth. 2013 Dec;40(4):247-55. doi: 10.1111/birt.12060.

The use of episiotomy in a low-risk population in the Netherlands: a secondary analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Midwifery Science, AVAG and the EMGO Institute of Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To examine the episiotomy incidence and determinants and outcomes associated with its use in primary care midwifery practices.

METHODS:

Secondary analysis of two prospective cohort studies (n = 3,404).

RESULTS:

The episiotomy incidence was 10.8 percent (20.9% for nulliparous and 6.3% for parous women). Episiotomy was associated with prolonged second stage of labor (adj. OR 12.09 [95% CI 6.0-24.2] for nulliparous and adj. OR 2.79 [1.7-4.6] for parous women) and hospital birth (adj. OR 1.75 [1.2-2.5] for parous women). Compared with episiotomy, perineal tears were associated with a lower rate of postpartum hemorrhage in parous women (adj. OR 0.58 [0.4-0.9]). Fewer women with perineal tears reported perineal discomfort (adj. OR 0.35 [0.2-0.6] for nulliparous and adj. OR 0.22 [0.1-0.3] for parous women). Among nulliparous women episiotomy was performed most frequently for prolonged second stage of labor (38.8%) and among parous women for history of episiotomy or prevention of major perineal trauma (21.1%).

CONCLUSIONS:

The incidence of episiotomy is high compared with some low-risk settings in other Western countries. Episiotomy was associated with higher rates of adverse maternal outcomes. Restricted use of episiotomy is likely to be beneficial for women.

KEYWORDS:

episiotomy; indications; maternal outcomes

PMID:
24344705
DOI:
10.1111/birt.12060
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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