Obstet Gynecol Sci.  2020 Sep;63(5):577-585. 10.5468/ogs.19236.

The effect of parity on the function of pelvic floor musculature in the long term: cross-sectional study

  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil


Parity is associated with an increased risk of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term effects of parity on this musculature.
This cross-sectional study was completed at the Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil. In total, 143 women participated in the study and were classified into three groups according to parity: nulliparae, primiparae, and secundiparae women. All parous participants had last given birth between 1 and 6 years prior. Pelvic floor muscle function was assessed through unidigital vaginal palpation using the PERFECT scheme, with the contraction grade classified according to the Modified Oxford Scale and through manometry.
There was no difference in scores on the Modified Oxford Scale (the means and standard deviations were 2.5±0.8 in nulliparae women, 2.3±0.9 in primiparae women, and 2.2±0.9 in secundiparae women; P=0.482) and manometry findings (the means and standard deviations were 42.3±22.7 in nulliparae women, 35.0±21.8 in primiparae women, and 33.2±20.0 in secundiparae women; P=0.144) among the assessed groups.
Parity had no effect, regardless of mode of birth, on the function of pelvic floor muscles and the presence of urinary symptoms, such as long-term urinary incontinence after birth.


Muscle strength; Pelvic floor; Parity; Urinary incontinence; Postpartum period
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