Comparing the Effect of Painless Labor Methods on the Duration of Active Phase of Labor


1 Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

2 Students’ Research Committee, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran



Abstract Background: Applying an appropriate method of analgesia in labor without alteration in its progression is of high importance. Previous literature did not provide much information about the effect of various kinds of anesthesia on the duration of active phase of labor. Objectives: To assess the effect of painless labor methods on the duration of active phase of labor. Patients and methods: 80 pregnant women referring to Najmieh hospital in 2013, with tendency to painless labor, were randomly selected for this analytical cross-sectional study using simple random sampling technique. After taking history and physical examination, cases were under observation of an obstetrician. After achieving a 4 cm cervical dilation, cases underwent analgesia by epidural, spinal or general anesthesia. Applying analgesia to complete dilation and complete dilatation to fetus delivery, time intervals were recorded by an obstetrician. Results: Studied individuals had a mean age of 25.95 years. Type of applied analgesia for painless labor was epidural in 6 (7.5%) nulliparous cases, spinal in 58 (72.5%) cases and general anesthesia was applied in 16 (20%) individuals. There was no significant difference for analgesia to complete dilation time interval between analgesia methods (P ˃ 0.05). Also, there was no significant difference between applied analgesia methods for complete dilation to fetus delivery time interval (P ˃ 0.05). While, analgesia to fetus delivery time interval was significantly lower in general anesthesia method rather than epidural method (P = 0.034). Conclusions: We found that analgesia-assisted labor shortens active phase and prolongs second stage of labor, it does not increase the risk of cesarean section as well.