How Common is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

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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.