Levator Trauma After Vaginal Delivery.
Dietz, Hans Peter PhD; Lanzarone, Valeria MB
Obstetrics & Gynecology.
106(4):707-712, October 2005.
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OBJECTIVE: To date, the evidence on pelvic floor injury in labor remains sketchy due to a lack of prospective studies comparing pelvic floor imaging before and after childbirth. We intended to define the incidence of major trauma to the pubovisceral muscle.
METHODS: A total of 61 nulliparous women were seen at 36-40 weeks of gestation in a prospective observational study. The assessment included an interview and 3-dimensional translabial ultrasound and was repeated 2-6 months postpartum.
RESULTS: Fifty women (82%) were seen postpartum. Of the 39 women delivered vaginally, levator avulsion was diagnosed in 14 (36%, 95% confidence interval 21-51%). Among those delivered vaginally, there were associations with higher maternal age (P = .10), vaginal operative delivery (P = .07), and worsened stress incontinence postpartum (P = .02).
CONCLUSIONS: Avulsion of the inferomedial aspects of the levator ani from the pelvic sidewall occurred in approximately one third of all women delivered vaginally and was associated with stress incontinence 3 months after childbirth.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-3
(C) 2005 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.