Purpose: To determine the incidence and impact of pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, urinary and colorectal distress and quality of life by birth mode for women in the chronic postpartum period.
Study design: Cross-sectional correlational design utilizing purposive sampling of (n=21) female postpartum subjects ages 18-45.
Background: Caesarean Section (CS) incidence is reported at 32% nationwide, well above the recommended safe rate of 10% (WHO). Literature is not clear regarding role of birth mode in postpartum symptoms including: pelvic pain, colorectal distress, pelvic organ prolapse, and quality of life.
Methods: Data collection took place after IRB approval from Andrews University. Each subject who agreed to volunteer for the study and met the inclusion criteria completed (1) Health History Questionnaire, (2) SF-36, and (3) Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory.
Result: Incidence reports of UI were 80% in CS and 50% in the NVD group. The CS reported significantly higher mean scores for PFIQb, UDI, POPDI and CRADI. Age was negatively correlated with CRADI and pain (Chi-square=7.02, p=0.030). NVD reported a significantly higher quality of life (as measured by the SF-36) in general and mental health compared to published norms and CS (p<0.05). BMI showed a significant moderate correlation (r=0.682, p<0.001) with pelvic organ prolapse.
Conclusion: Our study found significant increased incidence and impact of UI, CRADI, POPDI and PFIQb symptoms and a decrease in QOL in CS compared to NVD. Age showed significant correlation with colorectal symptoms and BMI showed significant relationship to pelvic organ prolapse.
Keywords: Pelvic pain, postpartum, pelvic floor, incontinence, colorectal pain, birth mode, caesarean section, vaginal delivery, SF-36, PFDI