Am J Perinatol 2019; 36(S 02): S83-S90
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1691816
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Impact of Sport Activity and Physical Exercise on Obstetrical and Perineal Outcomes at Delivery: A Prospective Study

Stefano Uccella
1  Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Maternal, Neonatal and Infant Medicine, Neonatal and Infant Medicine, Nuovo Ospedale degli Infermi, ASL Biella, Italy
2  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Insubria, F. Del Ponte Hospital, Varese, Italy
,
Paolo Manzoni
3  Division of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Department of Maternal and Infant Medicine, Nuovo Ospedale degli Infermi, ASL Biella, Italy
,
Nicola Marconi
2  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Insubria, F. Del Ponte Hospital, Varese, Italy
,
Carlotta Toscani
2  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Insubria, F. Del Ponte Hospital, Varese, Italy
,
Sara Biasoli
2  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Insubria, F. Del Ponte Hospital, Varese, Italy
,
Stefano Cianci
4  Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy
,
Massimo Franchi
5  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Verona, Italy
,
Paola Sorice
2  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Insubria, F. Del Ponte Hospital, Varese, Italy
,
Francesca Bertoli
2  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Insubria, F. Del Ponte Hospital, Varese, Italy
,
Pier Carlo Zorzato
1  Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Maternal, Neonatal and Infant Medicine, Neonatal and Infant Medicine, Nuovo Ospedale degli Infermi, ASL Biella, Italy
,
Davide Gallina
1  Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Maternal, Neonatal and Infant Medicine, Neonatal and Infant Medicine, Nuovo Ospedale degli Infermi, ASL Biella, Italy
,
Fabio Ghezzi
2  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Insubria, F. Del Ponte Hospital, Varese, Italy
,
Maurizio Serati
2  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Insubria, F. Del Ponte Hospital, Varese, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
25 June 2019 (online)

Abstract

Objective This study was aimed to investigate the effects of physical activity on perineal outcomes at delivery according to the different levels and types of maternal physical activity before and during pregnancy.

Study Design We prospectively evaluated the obstetrical and perineal outcomes of all consecutive women who delivered at the Del Ponte Hospital, in the period between July 2014 and September 2014. Women were divided into three groups according to the features of physical activity performed before pregnancy: group 1: “very sporty women,” group 2: “moderately sporty women,” and group 3: “inactive women.” A subanalysis of our data was performed based on the specific type of sport activity, on the degree of involvement of perineal muscles during physical activity, and on the continuation/discontinuation of this activity during pregnancy.

Results A total of 135, 84, and 85 women were included in group 1, group 2, and group 3, respectively. The demographic characteristics were comparable among all the groups. Sport activity during pregnancy was more frequent in groups 1 and 2 (59.3 and 53.6%, respectively, vs. 29.4% in group 3; p = 0.003). No differences among groups were detected in terms of perineal outcomes. A lower rate of episiotomy/lacerations ≥ 2nd degree was found among women who practiced sports that specifically involved the perineal muscles and who continued this practice during pregnancy.

Conclusion Perineal outcomes are not influenced by the intensity of sport activity performed before/during pregnancy. Continuous sports during pregnancy that specifically train the perineal muscles are associated with a lower rate of episiotomy and perineal lacerations ≥ 2nd degree.

Condensation

Sport activity and physical exercise do not appear to impair perineal outcomes at delivery.