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

January 17, 2013
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.

Explore further: Incontinence 20 years after child birth three times more common after vaginal delivery

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

Related Stories

Incontinence 20 years after child birth three times more common after vaginal delivery

March 26, 2012
Women are nearly three times more likely to experience urinary incontinence for more than 10 years following a vaginal delivery rather than a caesarean section, finds new research at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University ...

Uterine rupture is rare in the UK but increases with the number of previous cesarean deliveries

March 13, 2012
An analysis of the UK Obstetric Surveillance System published in this week's PLoS Medicine shows that uterine rupture—a serious complication of pregnancy in which the wall of the uterus (womb) tears during pregnancy ...

Mode of childbirth following cesarean section: Informing women's decision-making

March 27, 2012
In this week's PLoS Medicine, the PLoS Medicine editors discuss new research studies on the risks associated with mode of childbirth following caesarean section.

Single vaginal delivery ups later risk of pelvic organ prolapse

November 9, 2012
(HealthDay)—Twenty years after childbirth, the risk of symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse (sPOP) is increased after a single vaginal delivery versus cesarean section, according to a study published online Nov. 2 in BJOG: ...

Recommended for you

Population health impact of infants born small for gestational age in low- and middle-income countries

August 18, 2017
In low-and middle-income countries, it is common for babies to be born of low birth weight, due to either inadequate growth in utero (fetal growth restriction) and/or preterm birth, (birth before 37 weeks gestation). Maternal ...

Hormone from fat tissue can give protection against polycystic ovary syndrome

August 10, 2017
Obesity and reduced insulin sensitivity are common in polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS. New research based on animal studies, and to be published in the journal PNAS, reveals that the hormone adiponectin can protect against ...

Study in mice may reveal insights into causes of miscarriages for some women

August 9, 2017
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have identified how natural killer cells in the mouse placenta can cause a fetus to fail to grow in the womb or cause miscarriages.

Insomnia, sleep apnea nearly double the risk of preterm delivery before 34 weeks

August 9, 2017
Pregnant women who are diagnosed with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia appear to be at risk of delivering their babies before reaching full term, according to an analysis of California births by researchers ...

Elective freezing of IVF embryos linked to higher pregnancy rates in some cases

August 1, 2017
A delay in transferring embryos to the mother improves the success of in vitro fertilization in certain cases, according to a study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Celmatix Inc. and several other ...

Negative birth outcomes linked to air pollution exposure early in pregnancy, study finds

July 27, 2017
Exposure to air pollution early in a pregnancy could increase risk for preterm birth and low birth weight, according to a study led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine, and published on July 27 in Environmental Health ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.