02 Aug Advantages of Having a Doctor with a Low Episiotomy Rate
In the 1920s, episiotomies became a standard part of hospital births. Doctors believed that cutting the perineum, or the skin and muscles that stretch between the vagina and the anus, could prevent vaginal tearing, which can occur in up to 85 percent of all women who have vaginal births. The episiotomy was also believed to be easier to repair and could result in an easier recovery.
By the 1980s, studies were showing that those beliefs had few ties to reality, and in 2006, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued guidelines to restrict episiotomy use. According to ACOG, episiotomies can lead to painful sex and anal incontinence. Unfortunately, between 11 and 34 percent of all women giving birth vaginally today will still undergo episiotomies, but only a tiny minority of those are actually medically necessary.
The need for an episiotomy often has less to do with birth-related factors and more to do with the doctor attending the birth. A doctor with a high episiotomy rate is not following ACOG’s recommendations or currently recognized standards of care. This could put a woman and her pregnancy at risk in other ways as well. Additionally, this doctor might not be listening to his or her patients’ wishes, since many women routinely express their desires to avoid this cut.
Doctors with low episiotomy rates are doctors who are listening to their patients and following current medical guidelines when it comes to episiotomies. These are doctors who are unlikely to medicalize a natural, low-risk process without reason. Choosing a doctor with a low episiotomy rate significantly reduces a woman’s risk of suffering this painful, scarring cut and increases the odds of her experiencing a positive birth experience. The best reason to choose a doctor with a low episiotomy rate is to keep your perineum intact. Tearing is still possible, but tears heal more easily and with less scarring and trauma to the body than cuts.
The best way to reduce your risk of an episiotomy is to choose a doctor who does not perform them unless absolutely necessary. You should be happy to know that Dr. Walker and Dr. Shakespeare at the Women’s Care Center have some of the lowest episiotomy rates in all of Bakersfield. You deserve a doctor who will not cut into you unnecessarily. With Dr. Walker and Dr. Shakespeare as your guides, you can be sure you are in the best of hands. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in Bakersfield.