Introduction and hypothesis There is a lack of prospective studies evaluating the impact of childbirth on the pelvic floor in non- white populations. We intended to study delivery-related changes in pelvic floor morphology in Black South African primiparae. We also intended to determine the impact of anatomical changes on symptoms in the postpartum period. Methods A total of 153 nulliparous women between 35 and 39 weeks gestation were recruited from a district antenatal clinic. All women had a standardized interview, completed the International Consultation on Incontinence Vaginal Symptoms questionnaire followed by three/four dimensional transperineal ultrasonography. This was repeated at 3–6 months postpartum. Results Of the 153 women, 84 (54.9%) returned at a mean of 4.8 months postpartum. Of these women, 60 (71.4%) had a vaginal delivery and the remainder a caesarean section (20 emergency and 4 elective). Overall, there were statistically significant increases in bladder neck descent (P = 0.003), pelvic organ descent and levator hiatal distensibility (all P < 0001) at the postpar- tum assessment. Levator avulsion was diagnosed in nine (15%) of those delivered vaginally. Postpartum vaginal laxity was the commonest bothersome vaginal symptom, reported by 51 women (60.7%). Conclusions There is significant alteration in pelvic organ
International Urogynecology Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 18, 2017
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