Does the Epi-No® Birth Trainer reduce levator trauma? A randomised controlled trial
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Introduction and hypothesis
The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether antepartum use of a birth trainer may reduce levator trauma.
Two hundred nulliparous women were examined with four-dimensional translabial ultrasonography at 35–37 weeks of gestation and 3 months postpartum in a randomised controlled pilot study. Women in the intervention group were instructed to use the birth trainer from 37 weeks onwards.
One hundred forty-six women returned for follow-up 5.6 months (range 2.3–22.1) after childbirth. Seventy-eight of them had had normal vaginal deliveries (53%), 32 vacuum/forceps (22%) and 36 a caesarean section (25%). The risk of avulsion was halved in the intervention group (6% vs 13%, P = 0.19) on modified intention to treat analysis. A treatment received analysis revealed a nonsignificant 42% and 30% reduction in levator avulsion and microtrauma, respectively (P ≥ 0.22).
This pilot randomised controlled trial showed a nonsignificantly lower incidence of pelvic floor muscle injury in women who used the Epi-No® device from 37 weeks onwards.
KeywordsChildbirth Epi-No birth trainer Levator avulsion Levator microtrauma Pelvic organ prolapse Ultrasound
The Epi-No® Birth Trainer was donated by the Starnberg Medical, Tecsana GMBH, Muenchen, Germany.
Conflict of interest statement
KL Shek, V Chantarasorn, S Langer and H Phipps have no conflict of interest to declare. HP Dietz has acted as a consultant for AMS (American Medical Systems) and CCS (Continence Control Systems); has accepted Speaker’s fees from GE (General Electric), AMS and Astellas and has benefited from equipment loans provided by GE, Bruel and Kjaer and Toshiba.
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