by Jiang H, Qian X, Carroli G, Garner P
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 2 – First published: 8 February 2017
The authors conclude that in women where no instrumental delivery is intended, selective episiotomy policies result in fewer women with severe perineal/vaginal trauma. Other findings, both in the short or long term, provide no clear evidence that selective episiotomy policies results in harm to mother or baby. The review thus demonstrates that believing that routine episiotomy reduces perineal/vaginal trauma is not justified by current evidence. Further research in women where instrumental delivery is intended may help clarify if routine episiotomy is useful in this particular group. These trials should use better, standardised outcome assessment methods.