Sphincter tears in primiparous women: Is age a factor?

Academic Article


  • Anal sphincter tears during vaginal delivery may result in serious sequelae. We examined whether younger primiparous patients were at increased risk for sphincter tears during vaginal delivery. Data from an obstetric automated record were analyzed. Primiparous women delivering term infants (n = 5,937) were included to test for an association between age and sphincter tear rates. Three age groups were considered: young adolescents (≤16 years), older adolescents (17-20 years), and adults (≥21 years). No significant difference was found in tear rates among age cohorts (9.2%, 8.0%, and 9.6% respectively; p = 0.12). Logistic regression modeling revealed that young adolescents were not more likely to have sphincter tears compared to older cohorts. Younger adolescents may not be at increased risk of anal sphincter tears. Decisions regarding interventions to decrease sphincter tears during vaginal delivery should not be made on the basis of maternal age alone. © The International Urogynecological Association 2008.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bowling CB; Wheeler TL; Gerten KA; Chapman VR; Burgio KL; Richter HE
  • Start Page

  • 565
  • End Page

  • 569
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 5