Vaginal childbirth and pelvic floor disorders

Hafsa U. Memon, Victoria L. Handa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Childbirth is an important event in a woman's life. Vaginal childbirth is the most common mode of delivery and it has been associated with increased incidence of pelvic floor disorders later in life. In this article, the authors review and summarize current literature associating pelvic floor disorders with vaginal childbirth. Stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse are strongly associated with vaginal childbirth and parity. The exact mechanism of injury associating vaginal delivery with pelvic floor disorders is not known, but is likely multifactorial, potentially including mechanical and neurovascular injury to the pelvic floor. Observational studies have identified certain obstetrical exposures as risk factors for pelvic floor disorders. These factors often coexist in clusters; hence, the isolated effect of these variables on the pelvic floor is difficult to study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-277
Number of pages13
JournalWomen's Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • levator ani muscle injury
  • prolapse
  • urinary incontinence
  • vaginal childbirth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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