The effect of urinary incontinence status during pregnancy and delivery mode on incontinence postpartum. A cohort study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Objective: The objectives of this study were to investigate prevalence of urinary incontinence at 6 months postpartum and to study how continence status during pregnancy and mode of delivery influence urinary incontinence at 6 months postpartum in primiparous women. Design: Cohort study. Setting: Pregnant women attending routine ultrasound examination were recruited to the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). Population A total of 12 679 primigravidas who were continent before pregnancy. Methods: Data are from MoBa, conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Data are based on questionnaires answered at week 15 and 30 of pregnancy and 6 months postpartum. Main outcome measures Urinary incontinence 6 months postpartum is presented as proportions, odds ratios and relative risks (RRs). Results Urinary incontinence was reported by 31% of the women 6 months after delivery. Compared with women who were continent during pregnancy, incontinence was more prevalent 6 months after delivery among women who experienced incontinence during pregnancy (adjusted RR 2.3, 95% CI 2.2–2.4). Adjusted RR for incontinence after spontaneous vaginal delivery compared with elective caesarean section was 3.2 (95% CI 2.2–4.7) among women who were continent and 2.9 (95% CI 2.3–3.4) among women who were incontinent in pregnancy. Conclusion Urinary incontinence was prevalent 6 months postpartum. The association between incontinence postpartum and mode of delivery was not substantially influenced by incontinence status in pregnancy. Prediction of a group with high risk of incontinence according to mode of delivery cannot be based on continence status in pregnancy.