Epidural anaesthesia, often referred to as "an epidural", is an injection in the back that numbs the nerves and stops you feeling pain.
Areas that can be numbed by an epidural include the:
Anaesthetic medicine is injected into an area of the spine known as the epidural space.
The anaesthetic works by numbing pain nerves as they enter the spinal cord.
The extent of the numbness will depend on the type of drug used, and the amount injected. Once the medication has worn off, feeling in the affected areas will return.
However, as with many medical procedures, there are some associated risks that, although small, you should be aware of before deciding whether to have an epidural. Two possible risks include:
Epidural anaesthesia, often referred to as an epidural, is an injection into the back that numbs the lower half of the body and stops any pain being felt.
Epidurals can be used to numb sensation and provide pain relief in natural childbirth, during a caeserean section and after some types of surgery.
Epidural anaesthetics are given by experienced anaesthetists, who are doctors with specialist training in providing pain relief during medical procedures.