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What’s a pudendal block?

What’s a pudendal block?

Re:

What’s a pudendal block?

The Bump Expert

The pudendal nerve gets credit for helping baby-making become fun -- it’s the main nerve that picks up sensations in the vulva, clitoris and vagina. And the pudendal block is a local anesthetic that can be used to numb that same area during childbirth.

The pudendal block isn’t used too frequently, since most women get epidural anesthesia, which helps prevent pain down there. But a pudendal block may be administered if you don’t opt for an epidural (or if you couldn’t get an epidural for some reason, for example, if you’re on blood-thinning medications, which can create a risk of excess bleeding during an epidural).

Be warned: The pudendal block is administered with a large needle (about six inches), that’s stuck into a point in the vagina past the pubic bone. But the idea is that it hurts a lot less than an episiotomy will.

Plus, more from The Bump:

10 Surprising Things That Happen Right After Labor

What are some creative ways to deal with labor pains?

Do many people face complications from an epidural?

Robert Wool, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts University