Pelvimetry

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Pelvimeter

Pelvimetry is the assessment of the female pelvis[1] in relation to the birth of a baby. Traditional obstetrical services relied heavily on pelvimetry in the conduct of delivery in order to decide if natural or operative vaginal delivery was possible or if and when to use a cesarean section.[2]

Use[edit]

Pelvimetry used to be performed routinely to discern if spontaneous labour was medically advisable. Women whose pelvises were deemed too small received caesarean sections instead of birthing naturally. Research indicates that pelvimetry is not a useful diagnostic tool for CPD (see below) and that in all cases spontaneous labour and birthing should be facilitated.[3]

A woman's pelvis loosens up before birth (with the help of hormones), and an upright and/or squatting woman can birth a considerably larger baby. A woman in the lithotomy (lying on her back, legs elevated) is more than likely not going to push a larger than average baby out, due to the size of outlet that this position creates.

Cephalo-pelvic disproportion: CPD[edit]

Cephalo-pelvic disproportion exists when the capacity of the pelvis is inadequate to allow the fetus to negotiate the birth canal.

Terminology[edit]

The terms used in pelvimetry are commonly used in obstetrics. Clinical pelvimetry attempts to assess the pelvis by clinical examination. Pelvimetry can also be done by radiography and MRI.

Pelvic planes[edit]

Diameters of inferior aperture of lesser pelvis (female).

Pelvic types[edit]

Traditional obstetrics characterizes four types of pelvises:

Fetal relationship[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "pelvimetry" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ "Yale - The Pelvic Survey". 
  3. ^ Blackadar CS, Viera A: "A Retrospective Review of Performance and Utility of Routine Clinical Pelvimetry", AAFP, 2003, v36:7, p505 [1]