Lacerations of the anal sphincter or injury to sphincter innervation during childbirth are major causes of fecal incontinence.
A study by a team at The University of Hull, UK, investigated whether delivery by forceps was more likely to cause anal sphincter injury and fecal or urinary incontinence.
Women who delivered in 1964 were evaluated using endoanal ultrasound, manometry, and a continence questionnaire.
Mothers who delivered by forceps were matched with the next normal delivery and elective cesarean delivery in the birth register.
Women who had a forceps delivery had a significantly higher incidence of sphincter rupture compared with women who had unassisted vaginal deliveries or elective cesarean sections.
However, there was no significant difference in the incidence of fecal or urinary incontinence between the three groups.
The research team conclude that. “Anal sphinster injury is associated with forceps delivery in the past.”
| The incidence of anal sphincter rupture was 44% in mothers who had undergone forceps delivery compared with 22% in mothers who had unassisted deliveries.
|Diseases of the Colon and Rectum|