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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 1999 May;51(5):157-60


language: Italian

Perineal modifications in pregnancy and puerperium and the risk of urinary incontinence

Piserà A., Franchi M., Ciolli P., Russo R.


Pregnancy and delivery are important etiopathological factors in the alteration of pelvic equilibrium; in particular and the first delivery is the decisive factor in terms of perineal sequelae affecting pelvic equilibrium and urinary continence. Epidemiological studies have identified a number of pathogenic risk factors related to pregnancy (abnormal increase in maternal weight, diabetes in pregnancy and macrosoma) and the newborn (cranial circumference, newborn weight). Mechanical stress caused by the passage of the fetus may lead to the overstretching og the pelvic floor and the failure to recognise muscular damage even in the absence of macroscopic lesions. In the immediate postpartum or after a number of years these may damage the function of the musculo-aponeurotic structures of the perineum and foster the onset of alterations to pelvic equilibrium and urinary incontinence. In this study the authors have evaluated the modifications to the perineum and continence during pregnancy and puerperium.
Methods. Clinical data were analysed for 40 puerperae all of whom underwnt a through perineal examination to assess the function of perineal muscles, both on discharge and 6 months after delivery.
Results. The authors tried to identify the main risk factors which predisposed the onset of changes to pelvic equilibrium and urinary continence. On the basis of the contemporary outcome of the Q-tip test and TP, all women were divided into 4 groups: Group A (TP<3 and positive Q-TIP test) (22.5%).
Conclusions. In the light of these results, the authors affirm that during gestation it is important to concentrate preventive action on these risk factors.

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