, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 376-383

A urogynecologist’s view of the pelvic floor effects of vaginal delivery/cesarean section for the urologist

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Abstract

Pregnancy and parturition have been implicated in the development of pelvic floor dysfunction. These disorders include urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and other pelvic and sexual dysfunctions. The urologist caring for women with urinary dysfunction needs to be familiar with the causes of pelvic floor dysfunction and their implications. Defects of the pelvic floor have clearly resulted from the traumatic effect of vaginal delivery. The likely mechanisms of injuries during vaginal delivery involve stretching and compression of the pudendal nerve and peripheral branches, as well as an additional tearing of muscles and connective tissue. Optimal management of labor and optimal techniques of repair of unavoidable sphincteric lacerations, ante- and postpartum pelvic floor muscle conditioning, and timely and proper indications for cesarean delivery will minimize the effect of incidental traumatic delivery.