Health Library

Childbirth: Pudendal and Paracervical Blocks

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

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of June 4, 2014

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. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker