Introduction and hypothesis We studied the geometry of and changes in structures that play an important role in stabilizing the pelvic system during pregnancy using a numerical system at different gestational ages and postpartum. Methods We developed a parturient numerical model to assess pelvic structures at different gestational stages (16, 32, and 38 weeks) and postpartum (2 months and 1 year) using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Organs, muscles, and ligaments were segmented to generate a 3D model of the pelvis. We studied changes in the length of uterosacral ligaments (USL) and thickness of the puborectal portion of the levator ani muscle (LAM) during and after pregnancy. We used this model to perform finite element (FE) simulation and analyze deformations of these structures under stress from the increase in uterine weight. Results Analysis reveals an increase in the length of US ligaments at 16, 32, and 38 weeks. Two months after delivery, it decreases without returning to the length at 16 weeks of pregnancy. Similar changes were observed for the puborectal portion of the LAM. Variations observed in these structures are not equivalent to other anatomical structures of pelvic suspension. FE simulation with increased uterus weight does not lead to
International Urogynecology Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 29, 2017
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