International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 41–47

Pelvic floor dysfunction after levator trauma 1-year postpartum: a prospective case–control study

  • Rosa Maria Laterza
  • Lore Schrutka
  • Wolfgang Umek
  • Stefan Albrich
  • Heinz Koelbl
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00192-014-2456-0

Cite this article as:
Laterza, R.M., Schrutka, L., Umek, W. et al. Int Urogynecol J (2015) 26: 41. doi:10.1007/s00192-014-2456-0


Introduction and hypothesis

The aim of this study was to evaluate pelvic floor dysfunction and anatomical signs of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in patients with levator ani muscle (LAM) trauma compared with patients with an intact LAM 1 year postpartum.


In a prospective case–control study, primiparous women after vaginal delivery, with LAM trauma diagnosed on 3D ultrasound, were included in the case group. Controls consisted of patients who fulfilled the same inclusion criteria but had an intact levator. All women were investigated 1 year postpartum in respect of bladder, bowel, prolapse, and sexual function using the Australian Pelvic Floor Questionnaire. POP was assessed according to the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification (POP-Q) system and pelvic floor muscle strength using the Oxford Grading Scale.


Forty patients were included: 20 with and 20 without levator trauma. Urinary symptoms were significantly more frequent in women with LAM trauma compared with controls (p = 0.01). The two groups were comparable in respect of bowel, sexual, and prolapse symptoms (p = 0.24, p = 0.60, p = 0.99 respectively). Unlike POP stages II and III, POP stage I was significantly more common in LAM trauma patients (n = 19, 95 %) than in controls (n = 10, 50 %) (p =0.003). A positive association was noted between POP stage I and LAM trauma (RR = 7.2). The involvement of multiple compartments was significantly more frequent in cases than in controls (p = 0.003).


Except for urinary symptoms, LAM trauma was asymptomatic in nearly all patients 1 year postpartum. However, POP stage I involving multiple compartments occurred more frequently in LAM trauma patients than in controls.


Levator ani trauma Pelvic floor dysfunction Three-dimensional ultrasound 



Levator ani muscle


Pelvic organ prolapse


Pelvic organ prolapse quantification


Tomographic ultrasound imaging

Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosa Maria Laterza
    • 1
  • Lore Schrutka
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Umek
    • 1
  • Stefan Albrich
    • 2
  • Heinz Koelbl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General Gynecology and Gynecologic OncologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of MainzMainzGermany