Longitudinal comparison study of pelvic floor function between women with and without stress urinary incontinence after vaginal delivery
To compare the pelvic floor function between women with and without stress urinary incontinence after vaginal delivery.
Seventeen women (age 35.5 ± 3.5) were prospectively studied at about 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after vaginal delivery. Urinary incontinence was assessed by the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire – Short Form. Pelvic floor function was assessed by antero-posterior diameter of the levator hiatus using transperineal ultrasound.
Five of 17 women experienced postpartum stress urinary incontinence. The antero-posterior diameter of the levator hiatus at rest was significantly longer in stress urinary incontinent women than in continent women until 3 months after delivery (p < 0.01), though shortening of the antero-posterior diameter of the levator hiatus was not significantly different between continent women and stress urinary incontinent women. Regardless of urinary incontinence, the antero-posterior diameter of the levator hiatus at rest shortened at 6 months postpartum, compared to 6 weeks postpartum (p < 0.001). The antero-posterior diameter of the levator hiatus during contraction had shortened only in continent women by 6 months postpartum (p = 0.02).
The extended pelvic floor may be a cause of stress urinary incontinence in the postpartum period. Therefore, treatment to improve the extended pelvic floor should be developed for the prevention of stress urinary incontinence.
KeywordsPelvic floor function Postpartum Stress urinary incontinence Transperineal ultrasound
This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; (C) 20592573. The authors are grateful to the participants for their cooperation.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest or relationships to disclose.