Parity and route of delivery: Does cesarean delivery reduce bladder symptoms later in life?

Victoria L. Handa, Lynn Harvey, Harold E. Fox, Kristen Kjerulff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Objective This study was undertaken to investigate the impact of reproductive factors on the prevalence of urinary symptoms. Study design Participants were women scheduled for hysterectomy (n=1299). Before surgery, urinary symptoms were assessed by questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association between bladder symptoms and parity, route of delivery, and other characteristics. Results Stress incontinence and urinary urgency were more prevalent among parous than nulliparous women (P < .01). Controlling for parity and other characteristics, women who had a history of cesarean delivery were significantly less likely to report stress incontinence than women with a history of vaginal delivery (odds ratio 0.60; 95% CI 0.39-0.93). Conclusion Women who have undergone vaginal delivery are more likely to report stress incontinence than women who have delivered by cesarean section. Although this suggests that cesarean delivery might reduce incontinence later in life, further research is needed to clarify the long-term risks, benefits, and costs of cesarean delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-469
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this