According to professional gynecologists, 15% of those who give birth have an anatomically contracted pelvis (i.e., one of its size parameters is below the norm by more than 2 cm). In particular, this applies to fine-boned women with relatively low height and a fragile constitution.
What is a contracted pelvis?
Most often, narrowing of the pelvis occurs when the size of the conjugates is less than 11 cm. It should be kept in mind that a woman’s pelvis is considered to be contracted if it does not match the size of the baby’s head (if the doctors know that labor is going to be difficult). It is impossible to judge about the contracted pelvis after visual examining.
Contracted Pelvis Signs & Symptoms
The following features help the doctor make an assumption about the anatomic changes of the pelvis:
- a woman has a regular violation of the menstrual cycle;
- a woman is less than 160 cm tall;
- a woman’s height is more than 160 cm, but she suffers from lameness, spinal curvature, gait disturbance, or other similar diseases;
- a woman has small hands and feet (the size of her feet is less than 36) as well as short fingers;
- a woman has already had a delivery with certain complications;
- a woman had injuries or certain diseases that could potentially cause contraction of the pelvis.
What Causes Contracted Pelvis?
Modern gynaecologists have discovered the following reasons of contracted pelvis in women:
- malnutrition (especially in childhood and adolescence), lack of vitamins and other nutrients, impaired metabolic processes;
- serious infectious diseases in childhood (in particular, polio, tuberculosis), rickets, tumors, congenital pelvic bone structure;
- hormonal changes that occur in a woman during her puberty period;
- deformities of the spine or limbs, missing limbs and other similar anomalies;
- hereditary factor.
Consequences of Contracted Pelvis for the Pregnancy
If a woman has contracted pelvis, she usually suffers from asthma, toxicity, and increased heartbeat during the period of pregnancy. The primary cause of these phenomena is the pressure on the diaphragm exerted by the uterus that is located high (the baby’s head can not enter the narrowed entrance to a woman’s pelvis).
Labor Particularities with Contracted Pelvis
Practice shows that labor is associated with certain complications in case of contracted pelvis. They are:
- likelihood of premature discharge of amniotic fluid;
- weak labor activity;
- possibility of fetal hypoxia;
- the probability of losing the loop cord or even small parts of the fetus;
- the likelihood of infection in the fetus or the birth canal;
- formation of enteric genital fistula and urinary fistula in women;
- probability of pubic dissection;
- the risk of injuring soft tissues of the fetus or the birth canal, etc.
How to Prevent Labor Complications?
Women with such complications should be taken to hospital 2 or 3 weeks before the delivery date. They are usually sent to the department of pathology of pregnant women, which will provide them with antenatal care, and the experts will be able to choose the appropriate method of delivery for such patients.
Giving Birth with Contracted Pelvis
Gynecologists say that pregnancy in women with contracted pelvis usually runs without any complications. However, the birth process can be extremely difficult and even dangerous. Without adequate medical care, the woman is likely to experience the rupture of uterus, or the death of a child. And that is why labor should be continuously monitored by the medical staff, and the utero-placental circulation should be encouraged by special medications from time to time.
In addition, physicians should take some measures to prevent weak labor activity in these patients. Glucose, vitamins, analgesics or antispasmodics can be helpful in this case. But intensifying labor activity is used only in extreme cases.
Precautions for Women with Contracted Pelvis
The doctors recommend the women with contracted pelvis to remain under the supervision of specialists during pregnancy. From about the middle of the second trimester they should wear a special bandage. At about three (or at least two) weeks before the expected date of delivery, women should be taken to hospital or department of pathology of pregnant women.