Intrapartum predictors of maternal levator ani injury.

Research paper by Jessica J Caudwell-Hall, Ixora I Kamisan Atan, Andrew A Martin, Rodrigo R Guzman Rojas, Susanne S Langer, Kalai K Shek, Hans Peter HP Dietz

Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica


Damage to the pelvic floor during vaginal childbirth is common, and may take the form of levator avulsion or irreversible over-distention of the levator hiatus (microtrauma). Such trauma is a major risk factor for pelvic organ prolapse later in life. In this study we aimed to identify intrapartum risk factors for levator trauma.This is a retrospective analysis of data obtained in two perinatal studies on primiparous women. Between 2005 and 2014, 1148 patients carrying an uncomplicated singleton pregnancy in the late third trimester were seen for 4D pelvic floor ultrasound and an interview. They were invited for a repeat assessment at 3 months postpartum.Of 1148 women, 871 (76%) returned for assessment at a mean of 5 months postpartum. The data sets of 844 women were analyzed due to missing data or concurrent pregnancy in 27. 452 (54%) had a normal vaginal delivery, 102 (12%) a vacuum, 55 (6%) a forceps, and 235 (28%) a Cesarean section. On multivariate analysis forceps, length of second stage and obstetric anal sphincter tears were significantly associated with levator avulsion. There were no significant predictors identified for irreversible overdistension.The use of forceps, a prolonged second stage, and obstetric anal sphincter tears were associated with levator avulsion. There were no associated intrapartum predictors for hiatal overdistension. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.