Epidemiological studies have postulated racial differences in the incidence and prevalence of pelvic floor disorders. There are anecdotal data from cadaver dissections suggesting that Asian women benefit from stronger pelvic support structures. A prospective observational clinical study was conducted in order to test for differences in pelvic organ support in 200 nulliparous pregnant women. Assessment included translabial ultrasound, documenting the position of the pelvic organs and mobility on Valsalva relative to the inferoposterior symphyseal margin. The largest ethnic groups were Asian (n=16) and Caucasian women (n=161). On comparing the groups, both antepartum and postpartum analyses showed significantly less pelvic organ mobility in Asians. This was true for virtually all parameters of organ mobility and both anterior (P=0.002 antepartum, P=0.009 postpartum) and posterior compartments (P=0.04 antepartum, P=0.02 postpartum). No significant differences were detected for cervical mobility.It was concluded that Asian women seem to show less mobility of the anterior and posterior vaginal compartments than Caucasians.
Bladder neckChildbirthImagingPelvic floorPelvic organ prolapseTranslabial ultrasound