Outcomes of pregnancy and delivery in women with continent lower urinary tract reconstruction: systematic review of the literature

Int Urogynecol J. 2021 Jul;32(7):1707-1717. doi: 10.1007/s00192-021-04856-1. Epub 2021 Jun 14.


Introduction and hypothesis: The aim of this systematic review of the literature was to pool all the existing data regarding pregnancy and delivery in women with neurogenic bladder or bladder exstrophy who had undergone previous lower urinary tract reconstruction (LUTR).

Methods: We conducted a systematic review of the literature from PubMed/MedLine, ClinicalTrials.gov and the Google Scholar database, from 1972 to July 2020. Fifty articles were included, of which 25 contained data that could be pooled (229 women representing 292 pregnancies).

Results: Ninety-eight women had bladder exstrophy (43%), 58 had spinal dysraphism (25%), 14 had spinal cord injury (6%), and 59 presented other pathological conditions. Of these, 138 have had an augmentation cystoplasty (61%), 42 (18%) had a continent cutaneous urinary diversion, and 31 had an artificial urinary sphincter (14%). During their pregnancy, 97 women (33%) experienced at least one febrile urinary tract infection. Thirty-one women (11%) required ureteral stenting or nephrostomy placement for upper urinary tract dilatation. Forty-six pregnancies ended with premature delivery (16%). Delivery mode was by C-section for 108 patients (62%) and vaginal delivery for 104 (36%). Twenty complications were reported during delivery (mainly urological), of which 19 occurred during C-section. Nine women experienced postpartum urinary incontinence (4%); in 5 of then this was due to urinary fistulae secondary to complicated C-section.

Conclusions: Pregnancy and vaginal delivery are possible for women with LUTR who have no obstetric or medical contraindications, except for some particular cases of bladder exstrophy. However, these high-risk pregnancies and deliveries should be managed by a specialist multidisciplinary team.

Keywords: Artificial urinary sphincter; Augmentation cystoplasty; Bladder augmentation; Continent urinary diversion; Delivery; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bladder Exstrophy* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Urinary Bladder, Neurogenic*
  • Urinary Diversion*