Urinary and Anal Incontinence in African American Teenaged Gravidas during Pregnancy and the Puerperium

Christina Lewicky-Gaupp*, Ding Cai Cao, Sandra Culbertson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To determine the prevalence of urinary and anal incontinence during pregnancy and immediately postpartum in a convenience sample of African American teenaged women in an urban setting and to assess for an association between this incontinence and obstetrical risk factors. Methods: 74 African American adolescents, ages 14-19, participated in the study. During third trimester prenatal visits and at 6 weeks postpartum, participants completed the Wexner Continence Grading Scale and Urogenital Distress Inventory Short Form (UDI-6). Chart abstraction was conducted for other relevant history. Results: Seventy-eight percent (58/74) of the adolescents were followed for the duration of the study; 22% were lost to follow-up. Incontinence was defined by a positive response on either questionnaire, irrespective of severity. In the third trimester, 44% of patients complained of urinary urge incontinence and 43% of stress incontinence; 12% complained of fecal and 41% of flatal incontinence. At six weeks postpartum, only 9% complained of urge incontinence and 5% of stress symptoms. Similarly, fecal incontinence decreased to 4% and flatal incontinence to 9%. Postpartum, the rate of flatal incontinence in the women who underwent instrumental deliveries was significantly increased when compared to those who had a spontaneous vaginal delivery or cesarean section (OR 12, P = 0.04). Conclusion: Urinary and anal incontinence is present in this convenience sample of pregnant African American teenagers and should be addressed during pregnancy and the puerperium. Instrumental delivery significantly increased the risk of flatal incontinence postpartum in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008


  • Anal incontinence
  • Flatal incontinence
  • Urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Urinary and Anal Incontinence in African American Teenaged Gravidas during Pregnancy and the Puerperium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this