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Are doctors missing injuries to women during childbirth?

Childbirth is a wondrous feat, but it can be brutal on a woman's body. During a vaginal birth, a woman can experience a crack in her pelvic bone, torn muscles or tissues and a laundry list of other painful and sometimes embarrassing injuries. These are often undiagnosed and untreated by gynecologists and can have a profound effect on a woman's life.

Some of the effects of childbirth injuries include incontinence, backaches, painful sex and crippling pelvic pain. For one 34-year-old woman, she had to give up running, her favorite sport and something she and her husband had bonded over. Her doctor had told her everything looked great at her six-week postpartum checkup. She felt like it was her fault for not having done enough Kegel exercises, and she never went back for further checkups.

A health scare that affected a friend of hers finally drove her back to a doctor, and she learned that her pelvic floor muscles were almost useless because they were so damaged from childbirth.

A study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in January 2015 reported that a year and a half after childbirth, 24 percent of women were still reporting pain during sex. The journal PLos One published a study in June 2015 and found 49 percent of mothers had urinary incontinence.

The woman who learned her pelvic floor muscles were damaged said the doctor recommended surgery; however, he was going to be leaving the country for four months. The woman chose to see physical therapists to find answers, a time-consuming and often expensive course of action. When she had nearly exhausted the list of physical therapists in her area, the last one finally helped her. It took six weeks, but the treatment helped her incontinence to where she is able to run again.

Women who encounter difficulties during and after childbirth must express the problems they have to their doctor. If they do not receive adequate and effective medical care, it could be an instance of medical malpractice. If you believe this has happened to you, you may find the advice of an experienced attorney helpful.

Source: Cosmopolitan, "Millions of Women Are Injured During Childbirth. Why Aren't Doctors Diagnosing Them?," Laura Beil, accessed Sep. 09, 2016

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