The pudendal block gets its name because a local anesthetic such as, lidocaine or
chloroprocaine, is injected into the pudendal canal where the pudendal nerve is located. This allows quick pain
relief to the perineum, vulva, and vagina. A pudendal block is usually given in the second stage of labor just
before delivery of the baby. It relieves pain around the vagina and rectum as the baby comes down the birth canal.
It is also helpful just before an episiotomy. Lidocaine is usually preferred for a pudendal block because it has a
longer duration than chloroprocaine which usually lasts less than one hour.
Things to know about a pudendal block
A pudendal block may cause one or more of the following concerns:
Large doses of local anesthesia may be needed to experience relief
Local anesthesia medications enter the blood stream and cross the placenta
Some babies have trouble breastfeeding immediately after birth
Risk of local anesthetic toxicity
Risk of a hematoma (blood clot)
Risk of infection