, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 66-68

Pudendal nerve function during pregnancy and after delivery

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The aim of the study was to assess pudendal nerve function serially during pregnancy and after delivery. Twenty-eight women participated at 14, 30 and 36 weeks of pregnancy and 12 weeks postpartum. A prospective study of pudendal nerve terminal motor latency during pregnancy and after delivery was carried out. Results showed that pudendal nerve terminal motor latency did not increase significantly during pregnancy but increased significantly after delivery.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: This is the first report of sequential pudendal nerve terminal motor latency studies during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The results confirm the widely held impression that the neurological damage producing the pelvic floor neuropathy occurs at the time of vaginal delivery and not during the course of pregnancy. Of significance is the increase of latency in the pudendal nerve in all patients studied in the postpartum period compared to their prepartum values. This occurred in spite of decreasing urinary and anal incontinence symptoms. For the future the pelvic floor-sparing effects of cesarean section need further study.