Objective: To determine the frequency with which patients report incontinence of flatus or stool after rupture of the anal sphincter during delivery.
Methods: A chart review and telephone interview were conducted with 70 primiparas, 35 of whom had rupture of the anal sphincter at delivery and 35 of whom did not. All were contacted 9-12 months postpartum and questioned about the development of incontinence of gas or liquid or formed stool, persistent dyspareunia, and perineal pain.
Results: Incontinence of gas was reported by six women (17%) in the rupture group and one (3%) in the control group (P < .05). The incidences of incontinence of stool, both liquid and solid, dyspareunia, and persistent perineal pain were similar between the groups.
Conclusion: Incontinence of flatus was reported six times more often by women who experienced a third- or fourth-degree perineal laceration than by those without anal sphincter rupture. (Obstet Gynecol 1993;82:527-31)
(C) 1993 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists