Risk factors for fecal and urinary incontinence after childbirth: The childbirth and pelvic symptoms study



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Journal Article

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Publication Title

American Journal of Gastroenterology





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OBJECTIVE: To identify risk factors for postpartum FI and UI. METHODS: Secondary analysis of data from the CAPS study, which estimated the prevalence of postpartum FI and UI in primiparous women with clinically recognized anal sphincter tears after vaginal delivery, compared with women who delivered vaginally without recognized tears or by cesarean before labor. A total of 921 women were enrolled while in the hospital and 759 (82%) were interviewed by telephone 6 months postpartum. FI was assessed using the FISI and UI using the Medical, Epidemiological, and Social Aspects of Aging Questionnaire. FI risk factor analyses were conducted within each group, because of higher prevalence in the tear group. UI analyses were conducted with the groups combined. RESULTS: In women with sphincter tears, FI at 6 months was associated with white race (OR 6.1, 95% CI 1.3-29.4), antenatal UI (OR 2.2, CI 1.1-4.3), 4th versus 3rd degree tear (OR 2.0, CI 1.0-4.0), older age at delivery (OR 1.6 per 5 yr, CI 1.2-2.1), and higher body mass index (BMI) (OR 1.3 per 5 kg/m2, CI 1.0-1.7). No factors were associated with FI in the vaginal or cesarean control groups. Across all groups, risk factors for postpartum UI were antenatal UI (OR 3.5, CI 2.4-5.2), less education (OR 2.0, CI 1.4-2.8), and higher BMI (OR 1.2 per 5 kg/m2, CI 1.1-1.4); cesarean delivery was protective (OR 0.5, CI 0.3-0.9). CONCLUSIONS: Postpartum FI and UI are associated with few modifiable risk factors. However, the presence of antenatal UI and high BMI may help clinicians target at-risk women for early intervention. © 2007 by Am. Coll. of Gastroenterology.

Open Access

Green Accepted