Pelvic organ prolapse impacts the lives of many women. Injury during vaginal delivery is considered to be one of the greatest risk factors for developing this disorder. In this study, we characterized vaginal adaptations during pregnancy in terms of changes in the mechanical behavior of virgin and mid-pregnant vaginas using a planar biaxial mechanical testing protocol to determine the change necessary to avoid maternal birth injury. The findings of this study show that the vagina is anisotropic and that the tissue becomes more distensible circumferentially by mid-pregnancy in the rodent model.

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