Can you ask for an episiotomy?

That's an odd question, but bear with me. I don't want to tear, and I know I'm going to have a big baby. Can I ask my obstetrician to do an episiotomy if it looks as though I'm going to tear? I've heard of tearing through the labia and worse...and the thought freaks me out to no end. Apparently you can tear in any direction, that's what the nurse at the prenatal classes said right after saying that tearing is always better because it's natural.

So do you think I can ask for that? I really don't want to tear the wrong way in the wrong place...

Due in 7 days with a little girl :-)


At my hospital, apparently they prefer that you tear than do an episiotomy. :( They aren't too fond of the "interventions" at my hospital.

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If the Dr sees the need for one, they will do it. I had an episiotomy with my first baby (13 years ago they did them routinely) He was only 7 lbs. I tore all the way down to my you know what bc of it too. The stitches and recovering were horrible. With my other two, the midwife said that out of 300 births, she had only done 3 and only bc they were emergencies. She said they don't do them bc of the increased risk of tearing through the sphincter or rectum. (which is exactly what I did) Episiotomy also increases the risk of infection. She advised me to do perineal massage before labor and she did it during labor as well. My My baby was almost 9 punds and I didn't tear, or need stitches. The recovery time was much easier.


    Obstetricians used to do episiotomies routinely to speed delivery and to prevent the vagina from tearing, particularly during a first vaginal delivery, in the belief that the "clean" incision of an episiotomy would heal more easily than a spontaneous tear. Many experts also believed that an episiotomy might help prevent later complications, such as incontinence.

    Many studies over the last 20 years have shown that this is not the case. In fact, there is no good evidence showing that episiotomy offers your vaginal tissue and pelvic floor muscles any real protection, and the procedure may actually cause problems. For this reason, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as a host of other experts now agree that the procedure shouldn't be done routinely.

    I would avoid one if possible!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If they see or think that you are tearing, that is when they do an episiotomy so that they can control the way that you tear.

    EDIT: If your hospital has a certain way that they do things then they may not do it even if you want them to if that is what they think is best. It doesn't hurt to ask but if you have one of those stubborn doctors that like things their way and their way only then your only other option would be to look into another hospital or birthing center.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Why would they prefer you tear its harder to sew. My doctor would give a episiotomy if I needed one.

    I had a student doctor at the time and she had no idea what she was doing. She froze me and then when she was sewing me she let the freezing wear off. So I got more freezing in my crotch(OUCH). Then I find out she sewed me up badly. I was like her guinea pig. It was awful.

    I'm going to a different hospital and using a midwife this time around and if I need another episiotomy the midwives are trained to do so.

    You better make sure your doctor and if need be the hospital know you want a episiotomy its not fair to let you tear.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would agree with your hospital policy and the advice from your prenatal classes. A natural tear is much easier to deal with than an unnatural one. I tore with both my girls and the healing was quick and really wasn't a big deal at all. If you're scared of tearing, just remember to do as the doc says while pushing, not too hard or too fast. I'm sure you'll be fine...there's even a possibility that you won't tear at all! Good luck.

    Source(s): personal experience
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  • You can ask them to perform one only if it really looks needed. It is better to tear though, especially for the healing process and scar tissue. The doctor will usually try and stretch things out while you are resting in between pushes and that sometimes helps. It's up to you I guess but *I* would rather tear than be sliced. Eww, it just makes me cringe thinking of it, lol.

    Source(s): *B*T* Mom of 1, 20w 5d w/ #2!
  • 1 decade ago

    you can ask, whether they think it's necessary is another thing, with my last they massaged the area to help prevent tearing, in the end I tore anyway, with my first they cut, and to be honest the healing from the cut was 10x worse then healing from the tear, just my experience. could have been how they stitched me as well. I gave birth to an 8lb 7 ounce boy when I tore naturally. and my daughter was 7lbs 7 ounces when they did the episitomy. best luck

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm pretty sure you can tell the doctor you are open and willing to do an episiotomy, and he/she will decide if its neccisary when the time comes. They don't usually make the choice until the baby is crowning and they can tell if it's going to need more room or not.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes of course you can ask for it. Most doctors prefer for that to be done. However, I do hear conflicting reports on to which is better. I tore during my delivery and the doctor said it was better but the nurse disagreed and they argued about it while they were fixing me up! That was awful. Talk to your doctor about the possibilities and what they recommend. They went to school, they continue to study, they will have the best answer for you.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would definitely tell your doctor that you would like an episiotomy if it appears that it will be necessary. My first... I didn't have one and should have. This time around, I put the doc on notice. I have heard that you heal so much faster!

    IMHO... tearing is NOT better!

    Good Luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    tearing is not better as an episiotomy can be sutured much better than a ragged tear. YES TELL (don't ask) TELL the doc that if you are going to tear that you require one! Its your body, your labor, YOUR decision on what you want.

    Source(s): why am i getting so many thumbs down on this its HER body and her choice. I am studying to BE a Labor and Delivery nurse btw
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