Women's health 18 years after rupture of the anal sphincter during childbirth: II. Urinary incontinence, sexual function, and physical and mental health

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Abstract

Objective

We studied maternal health 18 years postpartum in women having sustained an anal sphincter tear and controls.

Study design

We assessed symptoms with the short form of the urogenital distress inventory, the female sexual function index, and physical and mental health with the Short Form-12 summary scales.

Results

Women with a sphincter tear had no increased risk of urinary symptoms (54 of 251, 22%, versus 51 of 273, 19%, risk ratio 1.2, 95% confidence interval 0.8 to 1.6) or sexual symptoms (84 of 223, 38%, versus 90 of 230, 39%, risk ratio 1.0, 95% confidence interval 0.8 to 1.2). Their physical health was also similar to controls (mean score ± SD, 47 ± 7 versus 47 ± 6), whereas their mental health was slightly lower (score 45 ± 6 versus 46 ± 6, difference 1, 95% confidence interval 0 to 2, P = .05).

Conclusion

Women who sustained an anal sphincter tear have no more urinary or sexual symptoms 18 years after delivery.

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