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  1. Teoh ES, Dawood MY, Ratnam SS
    Am J Obstet Gynecol, 1971 Jun 01;110(3):415-20.
    PMID: 5104314
  2. Gordon H, Huskisson ID, Torrington M, Pannell A, Zackon D
    Am J Obstet Gynecol, 1970 May 15;107(2):254-62.
    PMID: 5462441
  3. Win ST, Tan PC, Balchin I, Khong SY, Si Lay K, Omar SZ
    Am J Obstet Gynecol, 2019 04;220(4):387.e1-387.e12.
    PMID: 30633917 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2019.01.004
    BACKGROUND: Labor is induced in 20-30% of maternities, with an increasing trend of use. Labor induction with oral misoprostol is associated with reduced risk of cesarean deliveries and has a safety and effectiveness profile comparable to those of mechanical methods such as Foley catheter use. Labor induction in nulliparous women continues to be challenging, with the process often quite protracted. The eventual cesarean delivery rate is high, particularly when the cervix is unfavorable and ripening is required. Vaginal examination can cause discomfort and emotional distress particularly to nulliparous women, and plausibly can affect patient satisfaction with the induction and birth process.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate regular (4-hourly prior to each oral misoprostol dose with amniotomy when feasible) compared with restricted (only if indicated) vaginal assessments during labor induction with oral misoprostol in term nulliparous women MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a randomized trial between November 2016 and September 2017 in a university hospital in Malaysia. Our oral misoprostol labor induction regimen comprised 50 μg of misoprostol administered 4 hourly for up to 3 doses in the first 24 hours. Participants assigned to regular assessment had vaginal examinations before each 4-hourly misoprostol dose with a view to amniotomy as soon as it was feasible. Participants in the restricted arm had vaginal examinations only if indicated. Primary outcomes were patient satisfaction with the birth process (using an 11-point visual numerical rating scale), induction to vaginal delivery interval, and vaginal delivery rate at 24 hours.

    RESULTS: Data from 204 participants (101 regular, 103 restricted) were analyzed. The patient satisfaction score with the birth process was as follows (median [interquartile range]): 7 [6-9] vs 8 [6-10], P = .15. The interval of induction to vaginal delivery (mean ± standard deviation) was 24.3 ± 12.8 vs 31.1 ± 15.0 hours (P = .013). The vaginal delivery rate at 24 hours was 27.7% vs 20.4%; (relative risk [RR], 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.8-2.3; P = .14) for the regular vs restricted arms, respectively. The cesarean delivery rate was 50% vs 43% (RR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.9-1.5; P = .36). When assessed after delivery, participants' fidelity to their assigned vaginal examination schedule in a future labor induction was 45% vs 88% (RR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4-0.7; P < .001), and they would recommend their assigned schedule to a friend (47% vs 87%; RR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5-0.7; P < .001) in the regular compared with the restricted arms, respectively.

    CONCLUSION: Despite a shorter induction to vaginal delivery interval with regular vaginal examination and a similar vaginal delivery rate at 24 hours and birth process satisfaction score, women expressed a higher preference for the restricted examination schedule and were more likely to recommend such a schedule to a friend.

  4. Sinnathuray TA, Yusof K, Palan VT, Fong CK, Adeep N, Chong CH, et al.
    Am J Obstet Gynecol, 1980 Dec 01;138(7 Pt 2):868-71.
    PMID: 7468674
    We evaluated 3,066 consecutive women admitted during 1 year to two major hospitals of Kuala Lumpur and the adjacent urban area of Malaysia. Indicators of acute pelvic inflammatory disease were more common among patients with induced abortions. PID was thought to be a major contributor to the higher costs associated with management of patients with induced abortions.
  5. Caudwell-Hall J, Kamisan Atan I, Guzman Rojas R, Langer S, Shek KL, Dietz HP
    Am J Obstet Gynecol, 2018 10;219(4):379.e1-379.e8.
    PMID: 30063899 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2018.07.022
    BACKGROUND: Trauma to the perineum, levator ani complex, and anal sphincter is common during vaginal childbirth, but often clinically underdiagnosed, and many women are unaware of the potential for long-term damage.

    OBJECTIVE: In this study we use transperineal ultrasound to identify how many women will achieve a normal vaginal delivery without substantial damage to the levator ani or anal sphincter muscles, and to create a model to predict patient characteristics associated with successful atraumatic normal vaginal delivery.

    STUDY DESIGN: This is a retrospective, secondary analysis of data sets gathered in the context of an interventional perinatal imaging study. A total of 660 primiparas, carrying an uncomplicated singleton pregnancy, underwent an antepartum and postpartum interview, vaginal exam (Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification), and 4-dimensional translabial ultrasound. Ultrasound data were analyzed for levator trauma and/or overdistention and residual sphincter defects. Postprocessing analysis of ultrasound volumes was performed blinded against clinical data and analyzed against obstetric data retrieved from the local maternity database. Levator avulsion was diagnosed if the muscle insertion at the inferior pubic ramus at the plane of minimal hiatal dimensions and within 5 mm above this plane on tomographic ultrasound imaging was abnormal, ie the muscle was disconnected from the inferior pubic ramus. Hiatal overdistensibility (microtrauma) was diagnosed if there was a peripartum increase in hiatal area on Valsalva by >20% with the resultant area ≥25 cm2. A sphincter defect was diagnosed if a gap of >30 degrees was seen in ≥4 of 6 tomographic ultrasound imaging slices bracketing the external anal sphincter. Two models were tested: a first model that defines severe pelvic floor trauma as either obstetric anal sphincter injury or levator avulsion, and a second, more conservative model, that also included microtrauma.

    RESULTS: A total of 504/660 women (76%) returned for postpartum follow-up as described previously. In all, 21 patients were excluded due to inadequate data or intercurrent pregnancy, leaving 483 women for analysis. Model 1 defined nontraumatic vaginal delivery as excluding operative delivery, obstetric anal sphincter injuries, and sonographic evidence of levator avulsion or residual sphincter defect. Model 2 also excluded microtrauma. Of 483 women, 112 (23%) had a cesarean delivery, 103 (21%) had an operative vaginal delivery, and 17 (4%) had a third-/fourth-degree tear, leaving 251 women who could be said to have had a normal vaginal delivery. On ultrasound, in model 1, 27 women (6%) had an avulsion and 31 (6%) had a residual defect, leaving 193/483 (40%) who met the criteria for atraumatic normal vaginal delivery. In model 2, an additional 33 women (7%) had microtrauma, leaving only 160/483 (33%) women who met the criteria for atraumatic normal vaginal delivery. On multivariate analysis, younger age and earlier gestation at time of delivery remained highly significant as predictors of atraumatic normal vaginal delivery in both models, with increased hiatal area on Valsalva also significant in model 2 (all P ≤ .035).

    CONCLUSION: The prevalence of significant pelvic floor trauma after vaginal child birth is much higher than generally assumed. Rates of obstetric anal sphincter injury are often underestimated and levator avulsion is not included as a consequence of vaginal birth in most obstetric text books. In this study less than half (33-40%) of primiparous women achieved an atraumatic normal vaginal delivery.

  6. Perak AM, Lancki N, Kuang A, Labarthe DR, Allen NB, Shah SH, et al.
    Am J Obstet Gynecol, 2021 02;224(2):210.e1-210.e17.
    PMID: 32768430 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2020.07.053
    BACKGROUND: The American Heart Association's formal characterization of cardiovascular health combines several metrics in a health-oriented, rather than disease-oriented, framework. Although cardiovascular health assessment during pregnancy has been recommended, its significance for pregnancy outcomes is unknown.

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the association of gestational cardiovascular health-formally characterized by a combination of 5 metrics-with adverse maternal and newborn outcomes.

    STUDY DESIGN: We analyzed data from the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome study, including 2304 mother-newborn dyads from 6 countries. Maternal cardiovascular health was defined by the combination of the following 5 metrics measured at a mean of 28 (24-32) weeks' gestation: body mass index, blood pressure, lipids, glucose, and smoking. Levels of each metric were categorized using pregnancy guidelines, and the total cardiovascular health was scored (0-10 points, where 10 was the most favorable). Cord blood was collected at delivery, newborn anthropometrics were measured within 72 hours, and medical records were abstracted for obstetrical outcomes. Modified Poisson and multinomial logistic regression were used to test the associations of gestational cardiovascular health with pregnancy outcomes, adjusted for center and maternal and newborn characteristics.

    RESULTS: The average age of women at study exam was 29.6 years old, and they delivered at a mean gestational age of 39.8 weeks. The mean total gestational cardiovascular health score was 8.6 (of 10); 36.3% had all ideal metrics and 7.5% had 2+ poor metrics. In fully adjusted models, each 1 point higher (more favorable) cardiovascular health score was associated with lower risks for preeclampsia (relative risk, 0.67 [95% confidence interval, 0.61-0.73]), unplanned primary cesarean delivery (0.88 [0.82-0.95]), newborn birthweight >90th percentile (0.81 [0.75-0.87]), sum of skinfolds >90th percentile (0.84 [0.77-0.92]), and insulin sensitivity <10th percentile (0.83 [0.77-0.90]). Cardiovascular health categories demonstrated graded associations with outcomes; for example, relative risks (95% confidence intervals) for preeclampsia were 3.13 (1.39-7.06), 5.34 (2.44-11.70), and 9.30 (3.95-21.86) for women with ≥1 intermediate, 1 poor, or ≥2 poor (vs all ideal) metrics, respectively.

    CONCLUSION: More favorable cardiovascular health at 24 to 32 weeks' gestation was associated with lower risks for several adverse pregnancy outcomes in a multinational cohort.

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