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Prolapse link to delivery method

Tags: pregnancy

A new Swedish study has drawn a link between methods of baby delivery and health complications in later life.

Incontinence and prolapse 20 years after giving birth are more likely in women who have experienced a normal delivery rather than a caesarean section, according to the study.

The SWEPOP (Swedish pregnancy, obesity and pelvic floor)  research examined prevalence and risk of these conditions after the 20-year gap - they commonly affect adult women of all ages and can adversely affect quality of life.

The study was carried out by Maria Gyhagen at the Sahlgrenska Academy in 2008 with data being obtained about women who gave birth just once between 1985 and 1988 and did not have any more children.

Twenty years after one birth, vaginal delivery was linked to a 67% rise in the odds of incontinence and the presence of this condition more than a decade later increasing by 275% compared with caesarean section.

The biggest risk for symptomatic prolapse was vaginal delivery. Birthweight above 4,500g was a risk factor for symptomatic prolapse after this way.

Prevalence of prolapse and incontinence was the same between women who delivered by acute compared with elective caesarean section.

The indication here is that the injuries causing pelvic floor disorders do not happen until the foetus passes through the delivery canal.

Data was obtained from the Medical Birth Register.

Expectant mothers must consider many medical issues which could affect the health of mother and child when choosing the most suitable method of delivery.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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