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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2002 December;54(6):493-7

language: Italian

Postpartum perineal assessment

Pregazzi R., Sartore A., Bortoli P., Grimaldi E., Ricci G., Guaschino S.


Background. To evaluate the incidence of urogenital and anorectal dysfunctions during puerperium, verify the correlation between obstetric perineal damage observed during labour and puerperal symptoms, test the efficacy of tests to evaluate perineal function in pelvic floor dysfunctions consequent to vaginal birth.
Methods. A total of 693 consecutive puerperae were recruited two months after birth. All completed a clinical and anamnestic questionnaire and underwent clinical urogynecological examination, digital test, vaginal manometry and uroflowmetric evaluation of the voluntary capacity to interrupt micturition. From a statistical point of view, persistent urinary incontinence was identified by graphic representation on frequency tables and predictive tests, and statistical ''kappa'' was used to evaluate the correlation between perineal function tests.
Results. Stress urinary incontinence (15.1%) represents the most widespread symptom, a postpartum perineal inspection provides a sufficiently accurate estimate of posterior damage, but does not identify those puerperae who will develop urinary incontinence. None of the tests used was able to predict persistant urinary incontinence.
Conclusions. Postpartum perineal inspection seems to be effective in predicting anorectal dysfunctions, but is not so useful for urethro-vesical disorders. None of the diagnostic methods examined allowed a sufficiently accurate selection of those puerperae at risk.

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