Birth Definitions

Paracervical Block Definition

Paracervical block is a term used to describe a type of anesthesia that is injected into the tissues around the cervix. This block blocks the transmission of pain impulses thereby numbing the cervix and surrounding area, making it less painful for the woman to give birth.

The injection can be performed with several different anesthetics, but typically lidocaine or bupivacaine are used.


There are other similar terms that are sometimes used interchangeably with paracervical block, such as cervical block, pudendal block, saddle block, and spinal block. However, these terms may have slightly different meanings depending on the context. For example, cervical block may refer to any anesthesia that is injected into the cervix, while a pudendal block or a saddle block is used to numb the perineum, which is the area between the vagina and the anus. It is often used to reduce pain during childbirth, but can also be used for other procedures such as digital rectal exams or prostate surgery. A spinal block on the other hand is a type of anesthesia that is injected into the spinal cord, which can be used for a variety of procedures such as childbirth, surgery, or a diagnostic test called a lumbar puncture.

Paracervical Block vs. Other Types of Anesthesia

The main difference between paracervical block and other types of anesthesia is that paracervical block is specifically targeted at the cervix and surrounding tissues. This makes it a more effective way to numb those tissues and reduce pain. Other types of anesthesia, such as general anesthesia or regional anesthesia, may be used in other settings, but they are not specifically targeted at the cervix.

This image shows how often the term ‘Paracervical Block’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:

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