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Database - Alliance francophone pour l'accouchement respecté (AFAR)

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Created on : 12 Jun 2004
Modified on : 02 Dec 2007

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Bibliographical entry (without author) :

[Effectiveness of liberal vs. conservative episiotomy in vaginal delivery with reference to preventing urinary and fecal incontinence: a systematic review] Wien Med Wochenschr. 2003;153(11-12):269-75.

Author(s) :

Schlomer G, Gross M, Meyer G.

Year of publication :


URL(s) :…

Résumé (français)  :

Abstract (English)  :

Episiotomy is the most common surgical intervention in the world. In Europe the rate of episiotomy is approximately 30% (23). Reasons for this intervention are the reduction of risk for tears and incontinence. To assess the effects of restricted episiotomy in the prevention of urinary and faecal incontinence. Medline search for 1990-7/2002, Cochrane Library (Issue 2, 2002), GEROLIT and SOMED and the Internet. RCTs analysing restrictive or non-restrictive episiotomy were included if they had comprehensive randomisation, follow-up and exclusion of selection bias. Cohort studies were assessed to evaluate the risk of developing faecal incontinence. If possible, data were pooled. Included were all pregnant women with vaginal delivery. Intervention/exposition: Restrictive vs. liberal episiotomy (median, lateral or mediolateral). Incontinence rate (urine and stool) 3 months and 3 years post partum. All included randomised controlled studies met the criteria above, one randomised controlled study used blinded assessment of outcome parameter. Lots of follow-up was 33% (after 3 years). Cohort studies partly were retrospective. 2 randomised controlled studies measuring urinary incontinence were included. The rate for episiotomy was 60% in the intervention group with liberal episiotomy and 27% in the restricted group. No difference could be found in groups measuring urinary incontinence (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.83-1.20). Only two included cohort studies measured the effect of episiotomy on faecal incontinence. The chance of developing faecal incontinence in association with episiotomy was more than threefold (OR = 3.64, 95% CI 2.15-6.14). Restrictive episiotomy neither effects the development of urinary incontinence of post partum women (RR 0.98 95%, CI 0.83-1.20) three months and three years after vaginal delivery, nor the risk for trauma. Women without episiotomy suffer significantly less from faecal incontinence (OR = 3.6). Further investigation is required to measure the effect of no intervention versus liberal episiotomy.

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Keywords :

➡ evidence-based medicine/midwifery ; perineal/vaginal tears ; incontinence/prolapsus ; episiotomy

Author of this record :

Cécile Loup — 12 Jun 2004

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