Obstetrics & Gynecology:

December 2009 - Volume 114 - Issue 6 - pp 1278-1283

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181c2ce96

Original Research

Forecasting the Prevalence of Pelvic Floor Disorders in U.S. Women: 2010 to 2050

Wu, Jennifer M. MD, MPH; Hundley, Andrew F. MD; Fulton, Rebekah G. BS; Myers, Evan R. MD, MPH


OBJECTIVES: To estimate the number of women who will have symptomatic pelvic floor disorders in the United States from 2010 to 2050.

METHODS: We used population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau from 2010 to 2050 and published age-specific prevalence estimates for bothersome, symptomatic pelvic floor disorders (urinary incontinence [UI], fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse [POP]) from the 2005 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We abstracted data regarding the number of women aged 20 years or older in 20-year age groups. We assumed that the age-specific prevalences for these disorders and the population distribution of risk factors remained unchanged thru 2050. We also conducted sensitivity analyses that varied both the prevalence estimates and the population projections.

RESULTS: The number of American women with at least one pelvic floor disorder will increase from 28.1 million in 2010 to 43.8 million in 2050. During this time period, the number of women with UI will increase 55% from 18.3 million to 28.4 million. For fecal incontinence, the number of affected women will increase 59% from 10.6 to 16.8 million, and the number of women with POP will increase 46% from 3.3 to 4.9 million. The highest projections for 2050 estimate that 58.2 million women will have at least one pelvic floor disorder, with 41.3 million with UI, 25.3 million with fecal incontinence, and 9.2 million with POP.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of pelvic floor disorders will increase substantially given the changing demographics in the United States. This increase has important implications for public health and the field of gynecology.


Am J Perinatol. 2010 Mar 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Maternal Outcomes Associated with Planned Vaginal Versus Planned Primary Cesarean Delivery.

Geller EJ, Wu JM, Jannelli ML, Nguyen TV, Visco AG.

Division of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


We compared maternal morbidity between planned vaginal and planned cesarean delivery. A university hospital's database was queried for delivery outcomes. Between 1995 and 2005, 26,356 deliveries occurred. Subjects were divided into two groups: planned vaginal and planned cesarean delivery. This was based on intent to deliver vaginally or by cesarean, despite actual route of delivery. Planned vaginal delivery included successful vaginal delivery and labored cesarean delivery intended for vaginal delivery. Planned cesarean delivery included unlabored and labored cesarean delivery and vaginal delivery intended for cesarean. Chart abstraction confirmed the delivery plan. Primary outcomes were chorioamnionitis, postpartum hemorrhage, and transfusion. Secondary outcomes were also measured. A subanalysis compared actual vaginal delivery, labored cesarean delivery, and unlabored cesarean delivery. There were 3868 planned vaginal deliveries and 180 planned cesarean deliveries. Planned cesarean delivery had less chorioamnionitis (2.2% versus 17.2%), postpartum hemorrhage (1.1% versus 6.0%), uterine atony (0.6% versus 6.4%), and prolonged rupture of membranes (2.2% versus 17.5%) but a longer hospital stay (3.2 versus 2.6 days). There were no differences in transfusion rates. For healthy primiparous women, planned cesarean delivery decreases certain morbidities. Labored cesarean delivery had increased risks compared with both vaginal delivery and unlabored cesarean delivery. © Thieme Medical Publishers.

PMID: 20235001 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


BJOG. 2010 Jul 1;117(8):968-978. Epub 2010 Apr 20.

How often is a low Apgar score the result of substandard care during labour?

Berglund S, Pettersson H, Cnattingius S, Grunewald C.
Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institutet Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden.

Please cite this paper as: Berglund S, Pettersson H, Cnattingius S, Grunewald C. How often is a low Apgar score the result of substandard care during labour? BJOG 2010;117:968-978. Objective To increase our knowledge of the occurrence of substandard care during labour.

Design A population-based case-control study. Setting Stockholm County. Population Infants born in the period 2004-2006 in Stockholm County. Methods Cases and controls were identified from the Swedish Medical Birth Register, had a gestational age of >/=33 complete weeks, had planned for a vaginal delivery, and had a normal cardiotocographic (CTG) recording on admission. We compared 313 infants with an Apgar score of <7 at 5 minutes of age with 313 randomly selected controls with a full Apgar score, matched for year of birth. Main outcome measure Substandard care during labour.

Results We found that 62% of cases and 36% of controls were subject to some form of substandard care during labour. In half of the cases and in 12% of the controls, CTG was abnormal for >/=45 minutes before birth. Fetal blood sampling was not performed in 79% of both cases and controls, when indicated. Oxytocin was provided without signs of uterine inertia in 20% of both cases and controls. Uterine contractions were hyperstimulated by oxytocin in 29% of cases and in 9% of controls, and the dose of oxytocin was increased despite abnormal CTG in 19% and 6% of cases and controls, respectively. Assuming that substandard care is a risk factor for low Apgar score, we estimate that up to 42% of the cases could be prevented by avoiding substandard care. Conclusions There was substandard care during labour of two-thirds of infants with a low Apgar score. The main reasons for substandard care were related to misinterpretation of CTG, not acting on an abnormal CTG in a timely fashion and incautious use of oxytocin.
PMID: 20545673 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]PMCID: PMC2901517


Semin Perinatol. 2006 Oct;30(5):276-87.

Cesarean section on request at 39 weeks: impact on shoulder dystocia, fetal trauma, neonatal encephalopathy, and intrauterine fetal demise.

Hankins GD, Clark SM, Munn MB.
The University of Texas Medical Branch, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Galveston, TX 77555-0587, USA.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this analysis was to determine the impact on specific forms of neonatal morbidity and mortality by allowing women to opt for delivery by elective cesarean section at 39 weeks of gestation (EGA). According to the National Vital Statistics Reports, over 70% of deliveries in the U.S. annually are at gestational ages>or=39 weeks EGA. Estimating that over 4 million deliveries occur annually in the United States, this would yield approximately 3 million pregnancies wherein the woman may exercise her choice for either primary or repeat cesarean section at 39 weeks EGA or at the point when labor is established. METHODS: A search was conducted using Ovid Medline spanning the past 10 years using the following key words: fetal trauma, shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus palsy, neonatal skull fracture, obstetrical trauma, traumatic delivery, intrauterine fetal demise, stillbirth, fetal demise, and neonatal encephalopathy. Using this search technique, over 2100 articles were identified. The abstracts were reviewed and pertinent articles were chosen for further consideration. The identified articles and their applicable references were obtained for inclusion in this review. Preference was given to publications on or after the year 2000 with the exception of classical or sentinel articles, which were included without regard to year of publication. RESULTS: Four major categories of neonatal morbidity and mortality are discussed: Shoulder dystocia: Accepting that we do not have a successful method for the prediction or prevention of shoulder dystocia, the question becomes, "What is the chance that a baby will sustain a permanent brachial plexus injury at delivery?" Additionally, is there a significant protective effect of cesarean section in reducing the risk of such injury? Currently, the occurrence rate of brachial plexus palsy at the time of vaginal delivery ranges from 0.047% to 0.6% and for cesarean section from 0.0042% to 0.095%. Using a composite estimate of the risk of 0.15% for vaginal deliveries and applying it to the 3 million deliveries>or=39 weeks EGA, approximately 4500 cases of brachial plexus palsy would occur. If only 15% of these injuries were permanent, 675 permanent brachial plexus palsies would occur annually. If the risk of permanent injury is 1 in 10,000 as reported by Chauhan, 300 permanent brachial plexus palsies would occur annually in the United States. The range then for permanent brachial plexus injury that could be avoided with cesarean section on request would appear to vary between 1 in 5000 and 1 in 10,000 vaginal births. Fetal trauma: The incidence of significant birth trauma varies from 0.2 to 1 to 2 per 1000 births. The use of sequential instruments, for example, vacuum followed by forceps or vice versa, is specifically associated with an unacceptably high injury rate. Intrapartum-related neonatal deaths of vertex singleton fetuses with birthweights>2500 g from traumatic cranial or cervical spine injury secondary to vacuum- or forceps-assisted vaginal delivery are still occurring. Overall, the frequency of significant fetal injury is significantly greater with vaginal delivery, especially operative vaginal delivery, than with cesarean section for the nonlaboring woman at 39 weeks EGA or near term when early labor has been established. Neonatal encephalopathy: The prevalence of moderate to severe neonatal encephalopathy is 3.8/1000 term live births with a neonatal fatality rate of 9.1%. In 4% to 10% of cases, the etiology appears to be pure intrapartum hypoxia. Intrapartum hypoxia superimposed on antepartum risk factors may account for up to 25% of the moderate to severe encephalopathies, according to one cohort. A paradox in the data thus far is that infants born to nonlaboring women delivered by cesarean section had an 83% reduction in the occurrence of moderate or severe encephalopathy. Considering a prevalence of moderate or severe neonatal encephalopathy of 0.38% and applying it to the 3 million deliveries occurring at >or=39 weeks EGA in the United States annually, 11,400 cases of moderate to severe encephalopathy would occur. The rate of encephalopathy observed in infants delivered by cesarean section would yield approximately 1938 cases. This net difference in moderate to severe encephalopathy would represent 9462 cases annually in the United States that could be prevented with elective cesarean section. Although cesarean delivery may be protective for the development of neonatal encephalopathy, to date it has not proven to be protective of long-term neurologic injury in the form of cerebral palsy with or without mental retardation and/or seizure disorders. Intrauterine fetal demise: Copper reported that the rate of stillbirth is consistent from 23 to 40 weeks EGA with about 5% of all stillbirths occurring at each week of gestation. Yudkin reported a rate of 0.6 stillbirths per 1000 live births from 33 to 39 weeks EGA. After 39 weeks EGA, a significant increase in the stillbirth rate was reported (1.9 per 1000 live births). Fretts reported on fetal deaths per 1000 live births from 37 to 41 weeks of gestational age, showing that the rate progressively increased from 1.3 to 4.6 with each week of gestation. It can be estimated that delivery at 39 weeks EGA would prevent 2 fetal deaths per 1000 living fetuses. This would translate into the prevention of as many as 6000 intrauterine fetal demises in the United States annually-an impact that far exceeds any other strategy implemented for stillbirth reduction thus far. CONCLUSION: It is reasonable to inform the pregnant woman of the risk of each of the above categories, in addition to counseling her regarding the potential risks of a cesarean section for the current and any subsequent pregnancies. The clinician's role should be to provide the best evidence-based counseling possible to the pregnant woman and to respect her autonomy and decision-making capabilities when considering route of delivery.