International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 61–67 | Cite as

Does cesarean protect against fecal incontinence in primiparous women?

  • Jeanne-Marie GuiseEmail author
  • Sarah Hamilton Boyles
  • Patricia Osterweil
  • Hong Li
  • Karen B. Eden
  • Motomi Mori
Original Article


The objective of this study was to identify factors associated with new onset of postpartum fecal incontinence in primiparous women. A population-based study was conducted that surveyed all women delivering between 2002 and 2003 in Oregon. Factors associated with fecal incontinence were identified using logistic regression analysis. A total of 6,152 primiparous women completed the survey 3–6 months postpartum with 2,482 reporting a new onset of fecal incontinence (FI) after childbirth. Vaginal delivery was associated with a greater risk of FI compared to cesarean (odds ratio = 1.45; 95% confidence interval, 1.29 to 1.64). However, vaginal delivery without laceration or instrument assistance did not increase the risk of FI over cesarean. Being overweight (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2), pushing for greater than 2 h, and constipation were independently associated with postpartum FI (p < 0.05) regardless of route of delivery. This study provides important data to inform counseling and management of primiparous women.


Cesarean section Delivery Epidemiologic studies Fecal incontinence Pregnancy Risk factors 


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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanne-Marie Guise
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
    Email author
  • Sarah Hamilton Boyles
    • 4
  • Patricia Osterweil
    • 1
  • Hong Li
    • 1
  • Karen B. Eden
    • 2
  • Motomi Mori
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of OB/GYNOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical EpidemiologyOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  3. 3.Department of Public Health & Preventive MedicineOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  4. 4.Department of Providence Women and Children’s Health Research CenterProvidence Health & ServicesPortlandUSA
  5. 5.PortlandUSA

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