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Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Nov;104(5 Pt 1):982-8.

Pelvic symptoms in women with pelvic organ prolapse.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Magee-Women's Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA. burrowslj@yahoo.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess symptoms of bladder, bowel, and sexual function in women with pelvic organ prolapse and to compare symptoms by different degrees of prolapse.

METHODS:

This retrospective study used data from 352 women with prolapse or urinary incontinence. The pelvic organ prolapse quantification measurements, as well as responses to 3 self-administered questionnaires assessing urinary, bowel, and sexual function were used. For each individual, pelvic organ prolapse quantification measures of prolapse were obtained in centimeters in relation to the hymen for 3 compartments: anterior vagina, vaginal apex or cervix, and posterior vagina. Data were analyzed by comparing the frequency of symptoms to centimeter measures of the most advanced prolapse (regardless of site) and the other compartments of prolapse.

RESULTS:

Of the 330 patients available for analysis, 2.4% had stage I, 46.1% had stage II, 48.2% had stage III, and 3.3% had stage IV prolapse. The average age was 58.8 years (+/- 12.1), with a median parity of 3. Forty-eight percent were postmenopausal and taking estrogen, 27% were postmenopausal and not taking estrogen, and 25% were premenopausal. Patients who had stress incontinence symptoms had less advanced prolapse (median 5 cm less prolapse in the apical compartment) than patients without stress incontinence. Women who required manual assistance to urinate had more advanced prolapse (median 3.5 cm more prolapse in the most advanced compartment) than those who did not. Patients with urinary urgency and urge incontinence also had less advanced prolapse, although the differences were smaller than for stress incontinence (median 3 cm difference or less). There were no clinically significant differences in any compartment for symptoms related to sexual or bowel function.

CONCLUSION:

Women with more advanced prolapse were less likely to have stress incontinence and more likely to manually reduce prolapse to void; however, prolapse severity was not associated with sexual or bowel symptoms.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

II-2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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