Vaginal delivery safest option for women with pelvic girdle pain, study finds

Vaginal delivery safest option for women with pelvic girdle pain, study finds

(Medical Xpress)—Caesarean section increases the risk of persistent pelvic girdle pain after delivery compared with vaginal delivery, according to a new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Caesarean section rates are increasing worldwide, and this trend has partly been explained by women's requests for planned caesarean section without a medical reason. Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain has been associated with increased preference for caesarean section and with increased planned caesarean section rates.

"Some women with severe pelvic girdle pain might fear that a vaginal delivery will be too difficult or painful, or will worsen the condition after delivery – even though scientific evidence is lacking", says Elisabeth K. Bjelland, who is a at the Institute's Division of Mental Health and lead author of the study.

Knowledge about how caesarean section affects prognosis of pelvic girdle pain is therefore needed. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between mode of delivery and the of pelvic girdle pain six months after delivery.

In this follow-up study, 79.9% of women had unassisted vaginal deliveries, 6.7% had instrumental vaginal deliveries (by vacuum or forceps), 7.2% had emergency caesarean sections and 6.2% had planned caesarean sections.

Doubles the risk of pain after delivery

After taking a number of other factors into account, the results showed that:

  • Planned caesarean section was associated with a two- to threefold increased risk of severe pelvic girdle syndrome ( over the frontal part of the pelvis and on both sides of the rear part of the pelvis) six months after delivery.
  • In women who used in pregnancy, both emergency and planned caesarean section was associated with severe pelvic girdle syndrome six months after delivery.
  • Instrumental vaginal delivery was also associated with an increased risk of pelvic girdle syndrome six months after delivery.
"Previous studies have reported that patients with prolonged or severe pain are at increased risk of chronic pain after surgery. One explanation may be that pain influences the central nervous system in such a way that the pain inhibition systems become less effective. Therefore, women with severe pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy may be more vulnerable to the pain associated with caesarean section, compared with women without pelvic girdle pain", explains Bjelland.

Clinical advice

When deciding the mode of delivery, clinicians should be aware of the increased risk of non-recovery after caesarean section among women with severe pelvic girdle pain.

"Our findings, which support previous assumptions, do not indicate that caesarean section represents a benefit for the process of recovery from pelvic girdle pain. If there are no medical reasons for a , the findings suggest that is the safest option for women presenting with severe ", advises Bjelland.

More information: Bjelland E.K., Stuge B., Vangen S., Stray-Pedersen, B. and Eberhard-Gran, M. Mode of delivery and persistence of pelvic girdle syndrome 6 months postpartum. Am J Obstet Gynecol (2013); 208

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Caesarean sections associated with risk of asthma

Jun 18, 2008

Babies born by Caesarean section have a 50 % increased risk of developing asthma compared to babies born naturally. Emergency Caesarean sections increase the risk even further. This is shown in a new study based on data from ...

Recommended for you

Prolonged, heavy bleeding during menopause is common

5 hours ago

Women going through menopause most likely think of it as the time for an end to predictable monthly periods. Researchers at the University of Michigan say it's normal, however, for the majority of them to experience an increase ...

Italy IVF patient pregnant with wrong embryos

Apr 13, 2014

A woman who underwent fertility treatment at a clinic in Rome became pregnant with the twins of another couple after their embryos were mixed up, press reports said Sunday.

Abuse not tied to pain severity in chronic pelvic pain

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—A history of adolescent or adult abuse is not associated with pain severity, but is linked to pain-related disability and depression in women with chronic pelvic pain (CPP), according to a study ...

User comments