Multiparity Affects Conduction Properties of Pelvic Floor Nerves in Rabbits


Introduction: Women often develop pelvic floor dysfunction due to damage to the pelvic musculature during childbirth; however, the effect on pelvic floor nerves function is less understood. This study used adult rabbits to evaluate the electrophysiological and histological characteristics of the bulbospongiosus (Bsn) and pubococcygeus nerves (Pcn) in multiparity. Methods: Compound nerve action potentials (CNAP) were compared between age-matched nulliparous and multiparous animals and associated to the histological characteristics of myelinated axons from the Bsn and Pcn nerves. The extensor digitorum longus nerve (EDLn) was used as negative control. Data were analyzed with unpaired two-tailed Student's t test or Mann–Whitney U test to determine significant differences between groups. Results: The onset and peak latencies, duration, and conduction velocity of the motor fibers in these pelvic nerves were not significantly different between nulliparous and multiparous animals. However, the peak-to-peak amplitude and area of the CNAP in both Bsn and Pcn were reduced in multiparous rabbits. Histology showed a higher percentage of axons with myelin disorganization caused by multiparity in these pelvic nerves. Together, the data indicate a reduction in the number of functional pelvic axons due to multiparity. As expected, no effect of parity was observed in the EDLn controls. Conclusions: Present findings demonstrated that multiparity affects myelination and consequently conduction properties in the small pelvic floor nerves. ©2018 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.



Bulbospongiosus muscle, Urination, Myelin sheath, Pubococcygeus muscle, Reproduction, Urinary incontinence

Funding for the study was provided by PAPIIT‐UNAM (IN212916) and CONACyT (225126) grants. CONACyT (number 709056).


CC BY 4.0 (Attribution), ©2018 The Authors