Pelvic floor dysfunction, including urinary incontinence, anal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse, is extremely common, affecting at least one-third of adult women. A minority of patients sustaining these conditions volunteer their symptoms. Risk factor identification and the development of tactics for prevention are significant priorities for future research. Understanding both the specific predisposing factors that place an individual woman at risk and the precise events of the labor and delivery process that initiate injury and dysfunction is important for primary prevention. Defining the relative importance of various promoting and decompensating factors is essential for secondary prevention.