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Childbirth injuries: Women not getting needed treatment

The director of gynecology at the University of Michigan operates the university's Healthy Healing After Delivery Program. This program is believed to be the first program that specifically treats post-partum ailments. The director said, "It's amazing how little we actually about what's normal recovery."

The program addresses such problems as urinary and fecal incontinence, serious lacerations from vaginal births and painful intercourse. A study published by the university last year in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology used MRIs to evaluate mothers who had high risk births, such as those with longer labors or larger babies. One-third of the woman had fractured pelvic bones seven weeks after having delivered their babies. Another 41 percent of the women had suffered levator ani muscle tears. This muscle forms most of the pelvic floor.

The study also found that there was a higher rate of childbirth injuries than injuries due to playing injury-plagued or dangerous women's college sports.

While there is a physical exam performed at six weeks' post-partum, most women do not go fully into their complex pain complaints. The women may not feel comfortable speaking with their doctors about it since they don't really spend much time with them. There is also such a limited time available in these appointments.

The pelvic floor injuries can result in significant problems later on, such as pelvic organ prolapse. Another study found that more than three-quarters of women a year after delivery experienced back pain. Nearly half experienced urinary incontinence. Forty percent experienced both problems.

Pregnancy and labor and delivery-related problems affect many more women than previously thought. Some of these injuries may have been prevented or treated correctly if doctors spent more time with their patients or pressed further to learn more about childbirth injuries their patients have suffered.

If you believe you have been a victim of doctors errors or failure to diagnose, you may want to speak with an attorney about your case.

Source: U.S. News, "How Can Women Suffering Silently From Childbirth Injuries Find Healing?," Michael O. Schroeder, accessed Nov. 11, 2016

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