Birth Definitions

Pelvimetry Definition


Pelvimetry is the process of measuring the pelvis, typically during pregnancy. It is used to determine the size and shape of the pelvis, and to assess whether the pelvis is large enough to allow for a vaginal delivery. Pelvimetry may also be used to diagnose pelvic disorders, such as prolapse, dysplasia, and cephalo-pelvic disproportion.

There are several methods of pelvimetry, including external palpation, internal examination, X-ray pelvimetry, and MRI pelvimetry. External palpation is the most common method of pelvimetry and is typically performed by a midwife or obstetrician. Internal examination may be performed if external palpation is inconclusive. X-ray and MRI pelvimetry are rarely used due to the risks associated with radiation exposure.

Risk Factors and Complications Associated with Pelvimetry

The factors associated with the use of pelvimetry include maternal age, parity, gestational age, pelvic floor muscle tone, and fetal position.

Pelvimetry is generally safe, but there are some potential complications. These include uterine rupture, placental abruption, cord prolapse, and perineal lacerations. Uterine rupture is the most serious complication of pelvimetry and can occur when the uterus is stretched beyond its capacity. Placental abruption occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall prematurely. Cord prolapse occurs when the umbilical cord falls into the vagina ahead of the baby. Perineal lacerations are cuts or tears to the tissues between the vagina and anus.

Other Related Terms

  • Pelvic girdle: The pelvic girdle is the group of bones that make up the pelvis.
  • Pelvic floor: The pelvic floor is the group of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue that support the organs of the pelvis.
  • Perinatal: Perinatal refers to the period around the time of birth.
  • Maternal: Maternal refers to the mother or to anything relating to the mother.
  • Fetal: Fetal refers to the developing baby inside the womb.

This image shows how often the term ‘Pelvimetry’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:

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