Pronounced: ip-eez-ee-AWT-o-meEn Español (Spanish Version)
The perineum is the area between the vagina and the anus. It is made up of skin and muscle. During an episiotomy, an incision is made in the perineum.
The incision is made to make the vaginal opening larger during birth. In the past, this incision was common. But it is no longer routinely done.
Your doctor may do an episiotomy if:
The baby is:
- Premature or otherwise fragile
- Large and the shoulders may be hard to deliver
- Forceps or a vacuum are needed to assist in the delivery
Last reviewedAugust 2014by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.