Is Asian ethnicity an independent risk factor for severe perineal trauma in childbirth? A systematic review of the literature.
ABSTRACT To undertake a systematic review of the literature to determine whether Asian ethnicity is an independent risk factor for severe perineal trauma in childbirth.
Ovid Medline, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases published in English were used to identify appropriate research articles from 2000 to 2010, using relevant terms in a variety of combinations. All articles included in this systematic review were assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) 'making sense of evidence' tools.
Asian ethnicity does not appear to be a risk factor for severe perineal trauma for women living in Asia. In contrast, studies conducted in some Western countries have identified Asian ethnicity as a risk factor for severe perineal trauma. It is unknown why (in some situations) Asian women are more vulnerable to this birth complication. The lack of an international standard definition for the term Asian further undermines clarification of this issue. Nevertheless, there is an urgent need to explore why Asian women are reported to be significantly at risk for severe perineal trauma in some Western countries.
Current research on this topic is confusing and conflicting. Further research is urgently required to explore why Asian women are at risk for severe perineal trauma in some birth settings.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Severe perineal trauma occurs in 0.5-10% of vaginal births and can result in significant morbidity including pain, dyspareunia and faecal incontinence. The aim of this study is to determine the risk of recurrence, subsequent mode of birth and morbidity for women who experienced severe perineal trauma during their first birth in New South Wales (NSW) between 2000 -- 2008. METHOD: All singleton births recorded in the NSW Midwives Data Collection between 2000--2008 (n=510,006) linked to Admitted Patient Data were analysed. Determination of morbidity was based upon readmission to hospital within a 12 month time period following birth for a surgical procedure falling within four categories: 1. Vaginal repair, 2. Fistula repair, 3. Faecal and urinary incontinence repair, and 4. Rectal/anal repair. Women who experienced severe perineal trauma during their first birth were compared to women who did not. RESULTS: 2,784 (1.6%) primiparous women experienced severe perineal trauma during this period. Primiparous women experiencing severe perineal trauma were less likely to have a subsequent birth (56% vs 53%) compared to those not who did not (OR 0.9; CI 0.81-0.99), however there was no difference in the subsequent rate of elective caesarean section (OR 1.2; 0.95-1.54), vaginal birth (including instrumental birth) (OR 1.0; CI 0.81-1.17) or normal vaginal birth (excluding instrumental birth) (OR 1.0; CI 0.85-1.17). Women were no more likely to have a severe perineal tear in the second birth if they experienced this in the first (OR 0.9; CI 0.67-1.34). Women who had a severe perineal tear in their first birth were significantly more likely to have an 'associated surgical procedure' within the <=12 months following birth (vaginal repair following primary repair, rectal/anal repair following primary repair, fistula repair and urinary/faecal incontinence repair) (OR 7.6; CI 6.21-9.22). Women who gave birth in a private hospital compared to a public hospital were more likely to have an 'associated surgical procedure' in the 12 months following the birth (OR 1.8; CI 1.54-1.97), regardless of parity, birth type and perineal status. CONCLUSION: Primiparous women who experience severe perineal trauma are less likely to have a subsequent baby, more likely to have a related surgical procedure in the 12 months following the birth and no more likely to have an operative birth or another severe perineal tear in a subsequent birth. Women giving birth in a private hospital are more likely to have an associated surgical procedure in the 12 months following birth.BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 04/2013; 13(1):89. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Our aim was to describe the range of perineal trauma in women with a singleton vaginal birth and estimate the effect of maternal and obstetric characteristics on the incidence of perineal tears. We conducted a prospective observational study on all women with a planned singleton vaginal delivery between May and September 2006 in one obstetric unit, three freestanding midwifery-led units and home settings in South East England. Data on maternal and obstetric characteristics were collected prospectively and analysed using univariable and multivariable logistic regression. The outcome measures were incidence of perineal trauma, type of perineal trauma and whether it was sutured or not. The proportion of women with an intact perineum at delivery was 9.6% (125/1,302) in nulliparae, and 31.2% (453/1,452) in multiparae, with a higher incidence in the community (freestanding midwifery-led units and home settings). Multivariable analysis showed multiparity (OR 0.52; 95% CI: 0.30-0.90) was associated with reduced odds of obstetric anal sphincter injuries (OASIS), whilst forceps (OR 4.43; 95% CI: 2.02-9.71), longer duration of second stage of labour (OR 1.49; 95% CI: 1.13-1.98), and heavier birthweight (OR 1.001; 95% CI: 1.001-1.001), were associated with increased odds. Adjusted ORs for spontaneous perineal truama were: multiparity (OR 0.42; 95% CI: 0.32-0.56); hospital delivery (OR 1.48; 95% CI: 1.01-2.17); forceps delivery (OR 2.61; 95% CI: 1.22-5.56); longer duration of second stage labour (OR 1.45; 95% CI: 1.28-1.63); and heavier birthweight (OR 1.001; 95% CI: 1.000-1.001). This large prospective study found no evidence for an association between many factors related to midwifery practice such as use of a birthing pool, digital perineal stretching in the second stage, hands off delivery technique, or maternal birth position with incidence of OASIS or spontaneous perineal trauma. We also found a low overall incidence of OASIS, and fewer second degree tears were sutured in the community than in the hospital settings. This study confirms previous findings of overall high incidence of perineal trauma following vaginal delivery, and a strong association between forceps delivery and perineal trauma.BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 01/2013; 13:59. · 2.52 Impact Factor