Pelvic floor function and advanced maternal age at first vaginal delivery


Purpose: The study aimed to show differences in temporal recovery of pelvic floor function within 6 months postpartum between women having their first delivery at an advanced age and those having their first delivery at a younger age. Methods: Seventeen women (age: 35.5 ± 3.5, BMI: 21.1 ± 3.2) were studied at about 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after vaginal delivery. Urinary incontinence was assessed by the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form. Pelvic floor function was assessed by the anteroposterior diameter of the levator hiatus using transperineal ultrasound. Women who delivered for the first time at 35 years and/or older were defined as being of advanced maternal age. Results: Nine of 17 women (52.9%) were of advanced maternal age and 5 experienced postpartum stress urinary incontinence. Four of these 5 women (80.0%) were of advanced maternal age. The anteroposterior diameter of the levator hiatus at rest was significantly greater in the advanced maternal age women than in the younger maternal age women at 3 and 6 months postpartum (p < 0.01). Among the continent women, the anteroposterior diameter of the levator hiatus at rest was significantly greater in the advanced maternal age women than in the younger maternal age women at 6 months postpartum (p = 0.004). However, among the advanced maternal age women, all parameters of the anteroposterior diameter of the levator hiatus were not significantly different between the women with and without stress urinary continence. Conclusion: Recovery of pelvic floor function following delivery may be delayed in women of advanced maternal age at first delivery because of the damage to the pelvic floor during pregnancy and vaginal delivery, resulting in increase in the incidence of stress urinary incontinence.

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Yoshida, M. , Murayama, R. , Nakata, M. , Haruna, M. , Matsuzaki, M. , Shiraishi, M. and Sanada, H. (2013) Pelvic floor function and advanced maternal age at first vaginal delivery. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 3, 28-34. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2013.34A005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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