Auckland Bioengineering Institute


The Levator Avulsion Study

What is the LA Study?

Image of a mother and baby

We are conducting a study to look at the effects of childbirth on the pelvic floor muscles of first time mums.

Researchers from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute have teamed up with doctors and clinicians from the Counties Manukau District Health Board to investigate the incidence of pelvic floor muscle injury during childbirth.

What is the LA Study trying to learn?


1 in 5 women injure their pelvic floor muscle during vaginal childbirth. Injury to the pelvic floor muscles can lead to wide range of disorders after pregnancy and later in life.

We are investigating the relationship between pelvic floor muscle injury, muscle elasticity, and ethnicity. We have developed a pelvic floor muscle elastometer to measure the stiffness of the pelvic floor muscle to test whether it is a predictor of muscle injury.

We hope the lessons we learn from this study will help improve women's health during and after childbirth.

How you can help?


We are recruiting Pasifika, Māori, and European first-time mums to particpate in this study.

We would like 300 women to take part so we can gather enough information to help improve the health of future mums. We need 150 Pasifika and Māori mothers, and 150 European mums to join our study.

You will be invited for an interview, a pelvic floor ultrasound scan, and a test of your pelvic floor muscle elasticity at between 36-38 weeks of your pregnancy.

You will be invited for a follow-up visit three month after you give birth where the pre-birth assessments will be repeated.

Who to contact to join the study


If you would like to participate in the LA Study, or find out more about our research please contact:

Donna Harvey
Research Assistant
Email: levatoravulsion@yahoo.co.nz
Phone: 021 0255 0499