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Perineal Body Length Among Different Racial Groups in the First Stage of Labor

Tsai, Pai-Jong Stacy MD, MPH; Oyama, Ian A. MD; Hiraoka, Mark MD; Minaglia, Steven MD; Thomas, Jennifer BS; Kaneshiro, Bliss MD, MPH

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: May/June 2012 - Volume 18 - Issue 3 - p 165–167
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0b013e318255b096
Original Articles

Objective: Anatomic differences among racial groups may contribute to observed differences in the occurrence of severe perineal lacerations at the time of vaginal delivery. The purpose of this study was to identify differences in perineal body length between racial groups.

Methods: Perineal body length was measured in primigravid women aged 18 to 45 years who were admitted in labor. Women were classified into 1 of 6 racial groups: White, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Native Hawaiian, or Micronesian. The primary outcome, perineal body length, was compared using analysis of variance.

Results: A total of 200 women were recruited. There were no significant differences in perineal body length (P = 0.42) and severe perineal lacerations (P = 0.82) between the different racial groups. The mean (SD) perineal body length of women who had a severe laceration was 3.9 (0.5) versus 3.9 (0.6) cm in women who did not have a severe laceration (P= 0.98).

Conclusion: Perineal body length does not seem to differ among the different racial groups studied and therefore an unlikely cause of racial variation in rates of severe perineal lacerations.

Perineal body length does not seem to differ among the different racial groups studied and therefore an unlikely cause of racial variation in rates of severe perineal lacerations.

From the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI.

Reprints: Pai-Jong Stacy Tsai, MD, MPH, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, 1319 Punahou St, Suite 824, Honolulu, HI 96826. E-mail: paijong@hawaii.edu.

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Presented at the 12th Research Centers in Minority Institutions International Symposium on Health Disparities, Tennessee, TN, December 2010.

© 2012 by Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins