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Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2002;13(2):76-9; discussion 79.

Biomechanical properties of prolapsed vaginal tissue in pre- and postmenopausal women.

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Gold Coast Hospital, Southport, Queensland, Australia.


The aim of this study was to biomechanically assess vaginal tissue from pre- and postmenopausal women with symptomatic prolapse. Vaginal tissue was collected at the time of surgery in women with symptomatic prolapse. Tissue specimens were biomechanically assessed by a purpose-built tissue puller system and stress-strain curves were digitally recorded. Tissue was stretched at a constant rate of 0.8 mm/s to an elongation of 8 mm. A force-stiffness relationship was obtained. All data were normalized for length and cross-sectional area of the specimens. Tissues from the anterior vaginal wall were analyzed in 10 postmenopausal and 8 premenopausal women. The mean age of the postmenopausal women was 69 years, compared to 41 years for premenopausal women. Pre- and postmenopausal groups show very little or no difference regarding elongation or long-term tissue deformation. A significantly higher elastic modulus was observed in postmenopausal vaginal tissue. This is most likely an age-related phenomenon. Apart from this, pre- and postmenopausal vaginal tissue showed few differences in biomechanical assessment.

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