Long-term Pelvic Floor Disorders in Women
Linked to Natural Childbirth
Women who may have gone through vaginal delivery at
least once may be faced with a greater risk of long-term
pelvic floor conditions, such as urinary incontinence,
prolapse, and fecal incontinence, 20 years following
conception than giving birth through cesarean delivery,
according to a Swedish study.
The 2008 Swedish pregnancy, obesity, and pelvic floor
(SWEPOP) study, performed by gynecology expert
Maria Gyhagen, whose work was published in a thesis
at the Sahlgrenska Academy, reportedly zeroed in on
the major risk factors and prevalence of urinary, fecal
incontinence, and prolapse in mothers who have gone
through vaginal childbirth or cesarean delivery.
Obtaining information from the Medical Birth Registry,
the study reviewed data of mothers who only had one
child between years 1985 and 1988. Women were then
sent questionnaires two decades after in a bid to make a follow-up on their height, weight, urinary or
fecal incontinence, genital prolapse, menstrual status, hysterectomy, menopause and hormone
treatment. Following review of key factors, study results showed that vaginal delivery may be connected
to a 67 percent elevated risk of urinary incontinence and urinary incontinence being present more than
a decade later also went up by 275 percent than cesarean delivery.
The study further revealed that vaginal delivery is the strongest risk factor associated with symptomatic
prolapse. Giving birth to infants with birth weight of more than 4500g may also lead to symptomatic
prolapse. Symptomatic prolapse also plays a role in the development of urinary incontinence. Women
who have had delivery via the vaginal route also showed a greater prevalence of fecal incontinence
compared to having cesarean delivery, while there was no difference in prevalence of urinary
incontinence, prolapse and fecal incontinence in women who had cesarean section, whether or not it
was acute or elective, according to the study.
Pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence are among pelvic floor conditions reported to
affect about 30 to 50 percent of women worldwide, government statistics reports. Women showing
mild to moderate symptoms may be treated through Kegel exercises, behavioral techniques, lifestyle
modification, or a removable vaginal pessary. On the other hand, serious symptoms which may be
interfering with daily routine, and causing a great impact to quality of life may be addressed through
surgery with the use of pelvic mesh devices.
While the procedure is generally safe, several health problems have been associated with these medical
devices, reportedly gathering a series of surgical mesh lawsuits from a large number of women. The
Bladder Mesh Lawsuit Center at bladdermeshlawsuit.us offers comprehensive information about safety
problems and related issues surrounding surgical mesh implants.