Pelvic Floor Health Education: Can a Workshop Enhance Patient Counseling During Pregnancy?

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Abstract

Objectives

Pelvic floor disorders commonly affect women's quality of life. Their etiology is multifactorial, yet pregnancy and vaginal delivery (VD) are major inciting risk factors. Our objectives were to assess pelvic floor health information given by maternity providers to their pregnant patients, to create a pelvic floor health information workshop, and to determine its impact on women's preferences for mode of delivery.

Methods

This descriptive study recruited primiparous women with a singleton gestation at St Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, Canada. Participants received a 2-hour workshop describing pelvic floor disorders and pregnancy, modes of delivery, as well as strategies for maintaining pelvic floor health and preventing disease. Women completed questionnaires assessing baseline knowledge and level of comfort with different modes of delivery before and after the workshop.

Results

Forty participants completed the workshop. Seventy percent had an obstetrician, 20% had a midwife, and 10% had a family physician. Five percent of the participants reported receiving information regarding pelvic organ prolapse as well as urinary and fecal incontinence. The workshop did not influence women's preferred mode of delivery, including VD (P = 1.00), forceps-assisted VD (P = 0.48), vacuum-assisted VD (P = 0.68), postlabor cesarean delivery (P = 0.32), and elective cesarean delivery (P = 0.86).

Conclusions

Current antenatal care is lacking in the area of pelvic floor health education. Patient counseling can be enhanced via a standard workshop. Concerns about negatively influencing women's preferences for mode of delivery are unwarranted, as the pelvic floor health workshop, given during pregnancy, did not significantly change participants' preferences.

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