Prevalence of Maternal Birth Trauma in Nepali Women

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Pelvic organ prolapse is very common among women in Nepal, especially uterine prolapse. This would suggest a high rate of levator trauma, which is a strong predictor of such prolapse in the Western world. Hence, we decided to study the prevalence of maternal birth trauma in Nepali women.


In November 2016, we offered an interview, clinical examination, and 4-dimensional translabial sonography to women attending a gynecology clinic. Of 129 women seen, 5 were excluded due to previous pelvic surgery. Translabial sonography volume data sets were obtained and analyzed by tomographic imaging for levator ani and anal sphincter trauma at a later date, blinded against all clinical data.


Mean age was 39 (21–74) years, median vaginal parity was 2 (0–9), mean age at first delivery 21 (14–40). Seventeen (14%) had not given birth vaginally; of these, 14 (11%) delivered by cesarean only, and 3 (2%) were nulliparous. Tomographic assessment for levator avulsion and anal sphincter trauma was possible in 124 women and performed as previously described. We found 2 (2%) unilateral avulsions and significant external anal sphincter defects in another 2 women.


Levator and anal sphincter trauma are significantly less prevalent in Nepali women in comparison to Western populations. This is intriguing, especially in view of the high prevalence of prolapse in Nepali women.

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