Pelvic floor disorders after vaginal birth: Effect of episiotomy, perineal laceration, and operative birth - Abstract


OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether episiotomy, perineal laceration, and operative delivery are associated with pelvic floor disorders after vaginal childbirth.

METHODS: This is a planned analysis of data for a cohort study of pelvic floor disorders. Participants who had experienced at least one vaginal birth were recruited 5-10 years after delivery of their first child. Obstetric exposures were classified by review of hospital records. At enrollment, pelvic floor outcomes, including stress incontinence, overactive bladder, anal incontinence, and prolapse symptoms were assessed with a validated questionnaire. Pelvic organ support was assessed using the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification system. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the relative odds of each pelvic floor disorder by obstetric history, adjusting for relevant confounders.

RESULTS: Of 449 participants, 71 (16%) had stress incontinence, 45 (10%) had overactive bladder, 56 (12%) had anal incontinence, 19 (4%) had prolapse symptoms, and 64 (14%) had prolapse to or beyond the hymen on examination. Forceps delivery increased the odds of each pelvic floor disorder considered, especially overactive bladder (odds ratio [OR] 2.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.44-5.93), and prolapse (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.03-3.70). Episiotomy was not associated with any of these pelvic floor disorders. In contrast, women with a history of more than one spontaneous perineal laceration were significantly more likely to have prolapse to or beyond the hymen (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.13-4.86). Our multivariable results suggest that one additional woman would have development of prolapse for every eight women who experienced at least one forceps birth (compared with delivering all her children by spontaneous vaginal birth).

CONCLUSION: Forceps deliveries and perineal lacerations, but not episiotomies, were associated with pelvic floor disorders 5-10 years after a first delivery.

Written by:
Handa VL, Blomquist JL, McDermott KC, Friedman S, Muñoz A.   Are you the author?
Department Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Reference: Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Jan 5. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e318240df4f

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 22227639 Female Urology Section