Original research article| Volume 80, ISSUE 6, P578-582, December 2009

Impact of paracervical block on postabortion pain in patients undergoing abortion under general anesthesia



      Paracervical block is used as a way to decrease postoperative pain in patients having abortions under general anesthesia. To date, no studies have evaluated the efficacy of this practice.

      Study Design

      Patients were recruited from a university-based family planning clinic. Seventy-two patients seeking abortion under general anesthesia were enrolled into the single-blinded study. Thirty-nine patients were randomized to receive a paracervical block, and 33 were randomized to no local anesthesia. The patients completed a demographic survey and visual analog pain scales for pain prior to and at several time points after the procedure. Data regarding the need for additional pain medications postoperatively were recorded. Analysis of variance single factor and two-sample one-sided t test were used in data analysis.


      Experimental and control groups were similar in all measured demographic characteristics. They were also similar in gestational age, number of laminaria required, preoperative dilation, operative time, estimated blood loss and reported complications.
      Postoperative pain was not significantly affected by placement of a paracervical block prior to abortion under general anesthesia. The need for postoperative pain medication during recovery was similar between groups.


      This study does not support the hypothesized benefit of local anesthesia prior to surgical abortion under general anesthesia to reduce postoperative pain.


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