Patient Education

Health Library

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Childbirth: Pudendal and Paracervical Blocks

Skip to the navigation

Topic Overview

Pudendal block

To relieve pain associated with the second (pushing) stage of labor, an injection called a pudendal block can be given through the vaginal wall and into the pudendal nerve in the pelvis, numbing the area between the vagina and anus (perineum). Pudendal blocks do not relieve the pain of contractions.

A pudendal block works quickly, is easily administered, and does not affect the baby. It is given shortly before delivery. But it cannot be used if the baby's head is too far down in the birth canal (vagina).

Paracervical block

An injection of pain medicine into the tissues around the cervix is called a paracervical block. A paracervical block is another form of local anesthesia. It reduces the pain caused by contractions and stretching of the cervix. A paracervical block lasts about 1 to 2 hours.

Sometimes the baby's heartbeat can slow down after a paracervical block is done. Paracervical blocks are rarely done today, because epidural anesthesia is more effective.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofMarch 16, 2017

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.