Public Release: 

Childbirth delivery methods and risk of incontinence, overactive bladder


Bottom Line: Pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse (when one or more of the pelvic organs drop from their normal position) are associated with childbirth and affect millions of women in the United States. This study examined the risk of pelvic floor disorders based on the method of childbirth delivery among 1,500 women a decade or two after giving birth. Cesarean delivery compared with spontaneous vaginal delivery was associated with less risk of stress urinary incontinence, overactive bladder and pelvic organ prolapse. An operative vaginal delivery, such as using forceps or one that is vacuum-assisted, was associated with higher risk of anal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. The data for the study were from a single hospital so the results may not be generalized to all populations.

Authors: Joan L. Blomquist, M.D., Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Maryland, and coauthors

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.


Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.


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