Fetal pelvic disproportion, cephalopelvic disproportion, pelvic asymmetry, childbirth, maternal mortality
Females of childbearing age are overrepresented in the population of the Kellis 2 cemetery (100-450 AD) in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt (Wheeler 2009). The demographic overrepresentation found here may be the result of complications related to childbirth. Clinical literature demonstrates that fetal size is rarely an explanation for failed labor (Cunningham et al. 2001) and the fetuses buried in the Kellis 2 Cemetery at the Dakhleh Oasis were not larger than average (Tocheri et al. 2005), directing the focus to dimensions of the maternal pelvis for evidence of obstetrical issues, such as abnormally compressed pelvises. To formulate a test for this hypothesis, a total of 50 adults, 24 of which are female, were examined for this study. The sample consisted of individuals from an archaeological population from the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt as well as from six populations housed in the American Museum of Natural History (NYC). These include archaeological populations from the sites of El Hesa and Sai Island in the Sudan, also South Africa, Nubia, and India, as well as a medical collection from North America. Pelvic dimension and asymmetry was determined through nine measurements of the pelvis and sacrum. Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to analyze variance and assess whether the younger females in this group may have been at a higher risk of death during childbirth due to fetal-pelvic disproportion. Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxan nonparametric tests were used to assess differences in asymmetry in young and old groups. A MANOVA test assessed overall variation in the population. Results indicate significant differences between young and old females in pelvic outlet anteroposterior diameter, a measure of midpelvic contraction, as young females had smaller pelvic outlet anteroposterior diameters. There were also significant differences between iv young and old females in alar-pubis length asymmetry; the young females were more asymmetric. These differences were not found in the male groups. It is suggested that these differences could impact childbirth as a contracted midpelvis, such as that found in the young female group, can cause transverse arrest of the fetal head (Cunningham et al. 2010) and pelvic asymmetry can contribute to obstetrical complications (Campbell et al. 2011).
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Stansfield, Sarah, "Fetal-pelvic Disproportion And Pelvic Asymmetry As A Potential Cause For High Maternal Mortality In Archaeological Populations" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2695.