Intended for healthcare professionals


Working hard to do harm

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 08 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:0

We know that episiotomy does not prevent perineal trauma (p 86). Indeed, it seems to increase the chance of more serious perineal tearing. Now we learn that it may increase the chance that a woman may develop anal incontinence (p 86).

Doing and repairing episiotomies was one of my routine jobs when I was a locum in obstetrics 25 years ago. Often I was called in the middle of the night. Witless with lack of sleep, I would stagger down to the labour ward and do the business. I particularly enjoyed repairing …

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