How Common is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Women from mid-teens through end of life experience pelvic organ prolapse (POP). According to the 2013 study Epidemiology and Outcome Assessment of Pelvic Organ Prolapse by urogynecologists M Barber and C Maher, pelvic organ prolapse when defined by symptoms, has a prevalence of up to 50% when based upon vaginal examination. The 2017 study Pelvic Organ Prolapse: A Primer for Urologists by urologists M Burear and K Carlson indicated POP is a common condition, affecting more than half of adult women. Additional studies indicate 50% POP prevalence in women over 50. While some studies can be found indicating POP prevalence between 25 and 68%, the reality is accurate data has yet to be captured because women are not effectively screened for the condition during routine pelvic exams.
APOPS stance is 50% prevalence is a comparatively accurate stat considering childbirth is the leading POP cause, menopause is the 2nd leading POP cause, and a multitude of lifestyle, behavioral, and comorbid conditions compound risk of POP. As of July 2019, there are approximately 3.9 billion women in the world. Considering 50% of these women will likely experience pelvic organ prolapse at some point in their lives, there is zero doubt pelvic organ prolapse is of pandemic prevalence.
Urinary incontinence, urine retention, fecal incontinence, and chronic constipation are often treated as conditions, rather than symptoms indicating pelvic organ prolapse.
Approximately 300,000 surgeries to treat pelvic organ prolapse occur annually.
50% of incontinent women do not seek help.
30% of women will need a repeat surgery for POP.