Risk factors for obstetric anal sphincter injury among women undergoing a trial of labor after cesarean

Raanan Meyer, Daniel Shai, Nir Horesh, Menachem Alcalay, Edward Ram, Gabriel Levin

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1 Scopus citations


Objective: Data regarding the risks of obstetrical anal sphincter injury (OASI) among women who never delivered vaginally undergoing a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) are scarce. We aimed to evaluate the risk factors and the rate of OASI among women undergoing TOLAC who never delivered vaginally. Study design: A retrospective cohort study of all women undergoing a TOLAC and never delivered vaginally between 3/2011 and 6/2020. Maternal and intrapartum characteristics were compared between OASI and no-OASI groups. We matched groups to earliest gestational age in which OASI has occurred. A further comparison was made between the study cohort and a cohort of primiparous women undergoing a vaginal delivery, including gestational ages at which OASI has occurred in that cohort. Results: During the study period there were 2061 TOLACs among women without prior vaginal delivery. Of these, 76 % (1566/2061) had a successful vaginal delivery. Overall, 22/2061 (1.1 %) cases of OASI occurred. There was no difference in maternal demographic, obstetrical and medical history characteristics between the study groups. The mean gestational age at TOLAC was lower in the OASI group (390/7 ± 12/7 vs. 395/7 ± 12/7, p = 0.012). In multivariable regression analysis, gestational age was negatively associated with OASI [adjusted odds ratio, 95 % (confidence interval) 0.95 (0.91-0.99), for each day increase in gestational age)]. The rate of OASI in the study cohort did not differ from the rate of OASI among primiparous women during the same study period (347/27975, 1.2 %, p = 0.686). Conclusion: Gestational age at delivery is the only predictor of OASI among women with no prior vaginal deliveries undergoing a TOLAC. The incidence of OASI in this population is 1.1 % and does not differ from that of primiparous women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-41
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Obstetric anal sphincter injury
  • Operative vaginal delivery
  • VBAC
  • Vacuum assisted delivery


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