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Keywords:

  • cesarean section;
  • delivery;
  • pregnancy;
  • stress urinary incontinence

Background.  Our aim was to estimate the prevalence of stress urinary incontinence 4 years after the first delivery and analyze its risk factors.

Methods.  A retrospective cohort survey was conducted in a French university hospital. The 669 primiparous women who delivered in our department in 1996 a singleton in a vertex position between 37 and 41 weeks of amenorrhea were included. A mailed questionnaire was sent 4 years after the indexed delivery. The main outcome measure was stress urinary incontinence 4 years after the first delivery.

Results.  Three hundred and seven women replied, 274 had moved and 88 did not respond. Four years after the first delivery, prevalence of stress urinary incontinence was 29% (89/307). According to multiple logistic regression analysis, the independent risk factors were urine leakage before the first pregnancy [odds ratio (OR) 18.7; 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.6–96.4], urine leakage during the first pregnancy (OR 2.5; 95% CI 1.3–4.8), duration of first labor ≥ 8 h (OR 3.1; 95% CI 1.7–5.7), mother's age > 30 years at the first delivery (OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.4–4.2) and cesarean section at the first delivery (OR 0.3; 95% CI 0.1–0.9).

Conclusion.  Our results suggest that stress urinary incontinence after pregnancy arises from a multifactorial condition. The main risk factors are: age, previous incontinence (before or during the first pregnancy), prolonged labor and vaginal delivery.