Every year, up to 55% of women (approximately 330,000) suffer from perineal trauma, damage to the area between the vagina and anus, during childbirth. The statistics around this incredibly common and painful side effect of childbirth aren’t widely discussed but a medical product does exist for pregnant women to help prevent tearing or the need for an episiotomy (cutting).
Elastolabo is the UK’s only prescription product to be used in perineal massage in the latter stages of pregnancy, and is clinically proven to reduce the incidence of tears and episiotomies during childbirth by increasing the extensibility and elasticity of the skin.
Perineal tears or trauma is the main delivery complication in the UK. An NHS Report for 2011/12 revealed an episiotomy rate of 15%, and 40% of women suffering perineal tears.
40% of women who have suffered perineal trauma will experience pain for up to two weeks, 20% will experience pain for up to eight weeks, and 9% still have pain at three months. Other consequences include pain during sex, anal sphincter injury and bowel incontinence.
A clinical study of 118 women who use Elastolabo from Week 32 of pregnancy showed significant improvements in tissue extensibility and elasticity and significantly decreased episiotomy and tearing rates.
Dr Nigel Atherton, CEO of Cederberg, said: “Research has shown how common perineal trauma is during childbirth and we’re pleased to introduce Elastolabo, which has been clinically proven to make a positive difference when used in the latter stages of pregnancy. Our study has shown that using Elastolabo can make significant improvements in tissue extensibility and elasticity and considerably decreases perineal trauma severity. In addition to reducing trauma and distress to women giving birth, this should also lead to cost savings in terms of less suturing being required and fewer drugs and analgesics being prescribed.”
Vicki Scott, Midwife and antenatal educator said: “Perineal trauma, caused by tearing or episiotomy, is one of the biggest fears pregnant women have but it appears that the majority of pregnant women have more knowledge or ready information about how to prevent stretch marks than preventing this common, and often painful, outcome of childbirth. It’s important that mums-to-be understand that there is something they can do to reduce the risk. We would encourage perineal massage from 32 weeks of pregnancy until delivery, and Elastolabo empowers women to take more control. We would fully encourage the industry, relevant media and mums-to-be to talk openly about what is a common occurrence but for which help is at hand.”
DISCLAIMER: I have not been paid for this post, I have chosen to publish it because I too suffered with a 3rd degree tear and it wasn’t fun!