Invited Commentary

  • Rebecca G. Rogers


The accurate assessment, recognition, and treatment of pelvic floor trauma during pregnancy and following birth has gained increasing importance over the last decade. Formerly viewed as unavoidable sequelae of vaginal birth, pelvic floor changes following birth are common, and in some cases carry adverse long-term problems including pain, sexual dysfunction, bowel and bladder incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. On the other hand, the majority of women give birth without the development of serious pelvic floor problems. The challenge for practitioners is to both identify women at risk for problems and implement preventive practices that decrease the incidence of these disorders, without subjecting the many women not at risk for pelvic floor disorders to unnecessary interventions.


Pelvic Floor Pelvic Organ Prolapse Sexual Dysfunction Vaginal Birth Anal Incontinence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    DeLancey JOL, Morgan DM, Fenner DE et al. Comparison of levator ani muscle defects and function in women with and without pelvic organ prolapse. Obstet Gynecol 2007;109:295–302.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Snooks SJ, Swash M, Henry MM et al. Risk factors in childbirth causing damage to the pelvic floor innervation. Int J Colorectal Dis 1986;1:20–24.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ashton-Miller JA, DeLancey JO. On the biomechanics of vaginal birth and common sequelae. Annu Rev Biomed Eng 2009;11:163–176.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mant J, Painter R, Vessey M. Epidemiology of genital prolapse: observations from the Oxford Family planning Association Study. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1997;104:579–585.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Roitviet G, Hunskaar S. Urinary incontinence and age at the first and last delivery: the Norwegian HUNT/EPICONT study. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2006;195:433–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Albers LL, Sedler KD, Bedrick EJ et al. Midwifery care measures in the second stage of labor and reduction of genital tract trauma at birth: a randomized trial. J Midwifery Womens Health 2005;50:365–372.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rogers RG, Leeman LM, Migliaccio L et al. Does the severity of spontaneous genital tract trauma affect postpartum pelvic floor function? Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct 2008;19:429–435.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca G. Rogers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

Personalised recommendations