Definition of episiotomy in English:



  • A surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth, to aid a difficult delivery and prevent rupture of tissues.

    • ‘Among private patients with an epidural, the most likely birth outcome was an instrumental delivery with an episiotomy.’
    • ‘Childbearing women also undergo episiotomies to tighten the outer tissue of the vagina, but Stein says this does not restore muscle tone.’
    • ‘But one thing is fairly clear - episiotomies should not be done simply to prevent perineal injury in the mother.’
    • ‘The relationship between a woman and her clinician should be built on trust, and the benefits and the risks of a procedure such as an episiotomy must be openly discussed to ensure truly informed consent.’
    • ‘This patient had been induced for maternal hypertension and had laboured well with a Pit drip and had a spontaneous vertex delivery without an episiotomy.’
    • ‘Medical textbooks teach that episiotomies are necessary to prevent tearing and to protect the baby's head.’
    • ‘Recent research shows that if your midwife takes a ‘hands on’ approach, putting pressure on the baby's head and guarding the perineum, you are slightly more likely to have tears or an episiotomy.’
    • ‘If a Caesarean section is not appropriate, for example because the baby's head is already moving down the birth canal, an episiotomy can be the best way to speed up birth.’
    • ‘An episiotomy is usually a very simple operation.’
    • ‘There is some evidence that the pain and discomfort of an episiotomy can interfere with the bonding between mother and child in the early days after birth.’


Late 19th century from Greek epision ‘pubic region’ + -tomy.



/ɪˌpiːsɪˈɒtəmi/ /ɛˌpiːsɪˈɒtəmi/