Using the Brink score to predict postpartum anal incontinence

Virginia G. King, Sarah H. Boyles, Teresa R. Worstell, Joy Zia, Amanda L. Clark, W. Thomas Gregory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective To evaluate whether antepartum pelvic floor muscle strength, as measured by the Brink scale, predicts postpartum anal incontinence. Study Design This prospective cohort study of primigravid women used validated questionnaires and standardized pelvic examinations to evaluate subjects during the third trimester and at 2 postpartum time points. Results Of the initial 129 subjects, 102 and 81 completed 2 week and 6 month postpartum visits. 35% had cesarean deliveries. The antepartum prevalence of fecal incontinence (14%) did not differ significantly from the postpartum (17% at 2 weeks, 11% at 6 months). However, the prevalence of flatal incontinence fell from antepartum (65%) to postpartum (47% at 2 weeks, P = .001; 49% at 6 months, P = .012). Mean Brink score decreased postpartum; no correlations were found between Brink score and questionnaire scores. Conclusion Anal incontinence symptoms are common in the third trimester of a first pregnancy and may regress or resolve after delivery. Brink score did not predict postpartum anal incontinence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486.e1-486.e5
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Brink score
  • anal incontinence
  • antepartum
  • fecal incontinence
  • flatal incontinence
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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