To evaluate the impact of a pelvic fracture on a woman's physical, sexual, and reproductive functioning.
Level one trauma center.
Two groups of female multitrauma patients: those with pelvic fractures (subjects) and those with extremity fractures but no pelvic fracture (controls).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS
Of the 302 women eligible for participation in this study, 255 (80%; 123 subjects, 118 controls) were interviewed by blinded professional interviewers regarding genitourinary symptoms, sexual function, and reproductive history.
Urinary complaints occurred significantly more frequently in subjects than in controls (21 versus 7%, respectively; p = 0.003), in subjects with residual pelvic fracture displacement > or = 5 mm than in those without displacement (33 versus 14%, respectively; p = 0.018), and in subjects with residual lateral (60%) or vertical (67%) displacement than in those with medially displaced fractures (21.4%) (p = 0.04). Although both groups reported increased rates of cesarean section, this increase was statistically significant only in the subject group: 14.5% preinjury versus 48% postinjury (p < 0.0001). Adjusting for previous cesarean sections, cesarean section was significantly more frequent in subjects with fractures initially displaced > or = 5 mm (80%) than in those with fractures initially displaced < 5 mm (15%) (p = 0.02). There was no difference in the incidence of miscarriage or infertility between the groups. Problems with physiologic arousal or orgasm were rare. Pain during sex (dyspareunia) was more common in subjects with fractures displaced > or = 5 mm than in those with nondisplaced fractures (43 versus 25%, respectively; p = 0.04).
We found that pelvic trauma negatively affected the genitourinary and reproductive function of female patients. The increased rate of cesarean section in women after pelvic trauma may be multifactorial in origin and warrants further investigation.
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