What can happen during childbirth trauma?

Written by: Dr Alex Digesu
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In one of today’s articles, we discuss childbirth trauma at length, including what could influence one being at high risk of suffering from childbirth trauma. Dr Alex Digesu, a highly regarded and established London-based consultant obstetrician, gynaecologist, and urogynaecologist subspecialist, is the expert on hand here to provide us with a detailed and informative guide about childbirth trauma.

What is meant by childbirth trauma?

The trauma of birth is an international concern for all childbearing women globally. Childbirth trauma includes any damage or injury to the genital tissues such as the labia, vulva, vagina, or perineum. Both skin and underlying pelvic floor muscles, nerves, as well as connective tissues can be damaged at the time of delivery. Occasionally, both the bladder and the rectum can be damaged too.


What might influence an increased risk of childbirth trauma?

The risk of childbirth trauma increases if an instrumental and/or forceps delivery is performed, or if the baby weight is 4kg or more. 


What is genital tract trauma, and how common is it?

Genital tract trauma is extremely common with spontaneous vaginal birth. In fact, it has been estimated that roughly 85 per cent of all women who deliver vaginally experience some form of trauma, with first or second-degree perineal lacerations occurring in two out of every three women, and outer vaginal tears occurring in a half of women.


What are the treatment options for women who have suffered childbirth trauma?

Usually, the damage to the vagina, perineum, and pelvic floor is repaired using sutures in order to reconstruct the anatomy. The stitches dissolve within six to 12 weeks and do not need to be removed.


Sometimes, bony abnormalities occur, but they tend to resolve within six to 12 weeks as well. Unfortunately, when a muscle tear occurs, it does not heal, and thus, causes postnatal muscle weakness and vaginal/pelvic organ prolapse.


Contact Dr Alex Digesu today via his Top Doctors profile to schedule a consultation with him

By Dr Alex Digesu
Obstetrics & gynaecology

Dr Alex Digesu is an incredibly well-regarded and skilled consultant obstetrician, gynaecologist and urogynaecology subspecialist who currently practises in London, at The Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital, The Portland Hospital for Women and Children, OneWelbeck, and 25 Harley Street. He specialises in pregnancy, childbirth, vaginal prolapse, urinary tract infections, overactive bladder, childbirth trauma, urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and reconstructive vaginal surgery, but to mention a few. Dr Digesu also works in an NHS role at Imperial College NHS Trust as a consultant obstetrician as well as honorary senior lecturer at the Imperial College London. 

Dr Digesu, who is a trusted expert when it comes to performing procedures such as reconstructive vaginal surgery, pelvic floor reconstruction following childbirth trauma, early pregnancy scans, vaginal delivery, and Caesarean section. Dr Digesu successfully completed an MD at the University of Bari in Italy in 1997, followed by a CCST in 2002 after completing his specialist training in obstetrics and gynaecology and reproductive medicine as well as a PhD in obstetrics and gynaecology in 2005. 

Dr Digesu, who also impressively undertook a five-year fellowship in urogynaecology at both the prestigious King's College University and Imperial College University in London, in 2012 was awarded by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) a subspecialty training in urogynaecology and female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. 

Dr Digesu offers the full range of conservative, medical, and surgical treatments for pelvic floor disorders (prolapse and urinary incontinence) as well as vaginal reconstruction following childbirth-related injuries. 

He has published extensively in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology, and he is the author of more than 200 articles published in numerous world-renowned, peer-reviewed medical journals. In view of his expertise and research he covers important academic duties both nationally and internationally, and he is a wll-known invited speaker worldwide in national and international conferences.

Dr Digesu has been the chair and a member of many international committees, member of eight pharmaceutical company advisory boards, member of editorial boards for professional publications and is currently associate editor of the International Urogynaecology and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Journal, as well as Neurourology and Urodynamics Journal. 

Since 2010, Dr Digesu has been a tutor and mentor at several basic and advanced training courses in Europe using cadavers, video demonstrations, live surgery, animal models, simulators, as well as pelvic mannequins for clinicians and surgeons who are keen to improve their surgical skills in all areas of urogynaecology and reconstructive pelvis surgery. He also conducts national and international workshops to teach doctors and midwives how to identify and repair perineal tears after childbirth.

Not only that, but Dr Digesu is also a passionate, empathic, and skilled consultant obstetrician with over 20 years' experience, who is able to provide the best and safest care for women and their babies during pregnancy and birth. Using his holistic approach and knowledge of both low risk and high risk pregnancy, Dr Digesu aims to provide an individualised approach which is tailored towards everyone, thus helping women achieve the type of delivery which is tailored to their needs and wants. 

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