Pudendal anesthesia, also known as a pudendal block, is a form of local anesthesia commonly used in the practice of obstetrics to relieve pain during pregnancy. The anesthesia is produced by blocking the pudendal nerves near the ischial spine of the pelvis. The ischial spine separates the greater and lesser sciatic foramina.
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.