Epidural analgesia need not increase operative delivery rates.


OBJECTIVE We sought to examine the relationship between epidural analgesia and cesarean and instrumental vaginal delivery rates. STUDY DESIGN This is a retrospective analysis of the first 1000 nulliparous pregnancies in women with a cephalic presentation in spontaneous labor at term in each of 3 different years, over which the epidural rate increased from 10% to 57%. RESULTS Cesarean and instrumental vaginal delivery rates were similar in all 3 years. Demographic characteristics remained unchanged or altered in a manner that has previously been associated with an increase in intervention. Electronic fetal monitoring and first-stage oxytocin use remained unchanged, but oxytocin use in the second stage increased considerably. CONCLUSIONS Increased use of epidural analgesia had no effect on cesarean delivery rates. Although randomized trials have suggested that it increases instrumental vaginal delivery rates, this might be overcome by active management of labor or judicious use of oxytocin in the second stage.


Citations per Year

82 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 82 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@article{Impey2000EpiduralAN, title={Epidural analgesia need not increase operative delivery rates.}, author={Lawrence Impey and Kathryn Macquillan and M. Robson}, journal={American journal of obstetrics and gynecology}, year={2000}, volume={182 2}, pages={358-63} }