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Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2007 Jun;18(6):645-51. Epub 2006 Oct 17.

The impact of pregnancy and childbirth in the urethra of female rats.

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Gynecology Department, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the modifications in the amount of collagen, muscular, and elastic fibers in the mid-urethra of adult female rats during the pregnancy and after the natural childbirth, cesarean, and after simulated trauma of childbirth. The authors evaluated the histomorphometric aspects (collagen, muscular, and elastic fibers) in the mid-urethra of 70 animals distributed in seven groups: group 1 (n = 10)--control, group 2 (n = 10)--pregnant female rats, group 3 (n = 10)--female rats submitted to cesarean, group 4 (n = 10)--female rats with natural childbirth, group 5 (n = 10)--virgin female rats with simulated trauma of childbirth, group 6 (n = 10)--female rats submitted to cesarean followed by simulation of childbirth trauma, and group 7 (n = 10)--female rats with natural childbirth followed by simulation of childbirth trauma. The average concentration of collagen and elastic fibers and the collagen/muscular fiber correlation in groups 1, 2, and 3 were similar and significantly inferior to groups 4, 5, 6, and 7. The average of muscular fibers was similar in groups 1, 2, and 3 and significantly superior to groups 4, 5, 6, and 7. Pregnancy and cesarean did not induce alterations in collagen, muscular, and elastic fibers. However, the vaginal delivery and simulation of childbirth trauma determined the decrease in muscular fibers and the increase in collagen and elastic fibers and the correlation collagen/muscular fiber.

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