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Revista Colombiana de Obstetricia y Ginecología

Print version ISSN 0034-7434
On-line version ISSN 2463-0225


MELLIZO-GAVIRIA, Andrés Martín et al. Frequency of episiotomy and complications in the obstetrics service of Hospital Universitario San José, Popayán (Colombia), 2016. Exploration of maternal and perinatal factors associated with its performance. Rev Colomb Obstet Ginecol [online]. 2018, vol.69, n.2, pp.88-97. ISSN 0034-7434.


To determine the frequency with which episiotomy is performed, explore factors associated with its performance, and describe maternal and perinatal outcomes in the obstetric service of San José University Hospital in the city of Popayán (Colombia) during the first semester of 2016.

Materials and methods:

Descriptive, cross-sectional study with secondary analysis which included pregnant women with more than 37 weeks of gestation delivered during the first semester of 2016 in a high complexity public referral centre in the Department of Cauca Colombia, which serves patients covered by both the contributive as well as the subsidised health insurance regimes. Simple random sampling was used with a sample size of 197 deliveries and a margin of error of 5%. Maternal and childbirth variables, as well as maternal and neonatal outcomes were assessed. The frequency of episiotomy was estimated and the factors associated with its performance were explored by means of bivariate and multivariate analysis.


The frequency with which episiotomy was performed was 30.45% (n = 60; 95% CI: 24.1-37.3), and the most frequent complication was perineal tear at 29% (95% CI: 22.9-35.5). In terms of risk factors, nulliparity was the only factor associated with the need to perform episiotomy (aOR = 16.11; 95% CI: 6.46-42.81).


Episiotomy is performed more frequently in this institution than recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Strategies should be considered for reducing this frequency to the expected levels.

Keywords : Episiotomy; parity; perineum; delivery; obstetric.

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