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Pelvic floor muscle contractions early after delivery

...do they cause perineal pain in women who have just given birth?

Pelvic floor muscle training is effective and necessary in the prevention and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction during pregnancy and after childbirth. Because of the high prevalence of perineal pain observed in women after childbirth, many women and caregivers fear to start pelvic floor muscle training immediately after childbirth.

However, it is still unknown whether pelvic floor muscle contractions (PFMCs) provoke perineal pain in women shortly after childbirth. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to investigate whether PFMCs performed immediately after childbirth are painful or not.

In conclusion, many women suffer from perineal pain immediately after childbirth, especially during ADL, micturition and defecation. But not during pelvic floor muscle exercises!

Although the pain can be intense in some women, the discomfort felt during exercises was always slight. These results show that fear of perineal pain should not discourage women to start pelvic floor muscle training shortly after giving birth.

> From: Neels et al., Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 208 (2017) 1-5 . All rights reserved to Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Click here for the online summary.

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