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Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injuries (OASIS)

Obstetric anal sphincter injuries (OASIS) are a complication of a vaginal delivery, affecting up to 5-8% of women. 3rd and 4th degree tearing can cause long-term consequences such as faecal incontinence and flatal incontinence which significantly affects a woman’s quality of life. Therefore, there has been extensive research into the risk factors, prevention, and management of OASIS. 1 in 4 females will not present with symptoms after a delivery, and will only experience symptoms down the line, hence why we want to provide education, preventative screening and proactive management for ladies.

Identified risk factors associated with 3rd and 4th degree perineal tears, include;

■ Women having their first vaginal birth

■ Women of South Asian ethnicity

■ Infants with a higher birth weight (> 3.5 kg)

■ Persistent foetal posterior position

■ Prolonged second stage of labour

■ Instrumental birth (forceps, vacuum)

■ Epidural

■ Midline episiotomy

How can we help (as a Women's Health Physio) to reduce your risk of OASIS?

Our women's health physios at the Sunshine Coast, work with females during pregnancy to reduce their risk of OASIS using the latest evidence-based practice.

During your antenatal assessment, we will discuss the relevant risk factors and assess through a vaginal examination key clinical measurements and help to evaluate your level of risk. We will also assess your pelvic floor muscle function. Based of an individual examination we will discuss with you, your midwife or treating Obstetrician any areas which should be considered from a pelvic health perspective with future birth planning.

Book in with our expert team of Women's Health Physio's to have your antenatal assessment today. We offer one-on-one appointments, alongside our Birth Preparation Workshop which offers invaluable education and practical tips/information on how to better prepare your pelvic floor for labour too.

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