Childbirth-related pelvic floor trauma in women at-risk: A survey of the current obstetric management of short stature primigravid women (2019)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

*Rachaneni S.; Freeman R.

International Urogynecology Journal; September 2019; vol. 30 (no. 1 Supplement)

Objective: To assess the antenatal and intrapartum management of short statured primigravid women in relation to the awareness of the increased risk of long-term pelvic floor morbidity from childbirth, by Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK. Method(s):We carried out a questionnaire survey with 15 questions about the antenatal and intrapartum management of short statured primigravid women with a clinically large fetus, their timing and mode of delivery and discussion with the women about their risk of long-term pelvic floor morbidity following spontaneous and instrumental vaginal deliveries, their choice of instruments and episiotomy. Result(s): The survey was completed by 424 Members and Fellows of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (UK). We created a scenario of a short stature primigravid woman who presented with a clinically large baby around 38 weeks gestation. Sixty five percent of the responders stated that they would scan for estimated fetal weight, 48% would offer induction of labo-r at 40 weeks gestation and 13% would offer an elective caesarean section at 39-40 weeks. Only 59% of the responders said that would discuss the risks of obstructed labo-r, shoulder dystocia, instrumental delivery and Obstetric anal sphincter injury. Seventy percent of the responders said they would not discuss the long term risks of urinary, fecal incontinence and prolapse during antenatal or intrapartum management. For intrapartum management with failure to progress in the second stage of labo-r, 69% would attempt a rotational instrumental delivery, and only 5% would offer an emergency caesarean section. Manual rotation followed by ‘straight’ forceps application (59%) was the most frequent rotational delivery offered followed by Ventouse (40%) and Keillands forceps rotation. Thirty four percent stated that do not routinely perform an episiotomy in this scenario. The choice of instrument was not based on the long-term risk of pelvic floor dysfunction in 73% of the responses. Conclusion(s): The survey reveals a poor level of counselling of primigravid women of short stature who are known to be at higher risk of long-term pelvic floor trauma and consequent incontinence and prolapse.