A pudenal block is a type of anesthetic treatment often used during labor.  Shortly before delivery a medication such as Lidocaine or chloroprocaine is injected into the vaginal wall.  This blocks pain between the vagina and the anus.

A forceps-assisted delivery can often create pain and strain on the area between the vagina and the anus.  A vacuum extraction may also cause this strain and pain.  A pudenal block is most often used in these instances.  A pudenal block may also be used to relieve pain associated with an episiotomy or with a vaginal tear that can occur during delivery.

A pudenal block typically has no ill effects on either the mother or the baby.  On the down side, it offers no pain relief from contractions.  Also, it may slightly decrease the urge to push, making labor more difficult or prolonging labor.  In very rare cases it may cause a fall in blood pressure or fainting if the medication is injected into a vein.

There is a slight risk of allergic reaction to the medication.  There is also a very slight risk of a blood clot or an infection.

How are pudenal blocks used during labor?