Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is one of the most common indications for gynaecological surgery.
In 1997, more than 225000 inpatient surgical procedures for POP were undertaken in USA (22.7
per 10000 women) at an estimated cost of more than one billion dollars. In the UK, the
disorder accounts for 20% of the women on the waiting list for major gynaecological surgery.
Vaginal birth, advancing age and increasing body mass are the most consistent risk factors.
Furthermore a racial and congenital predisposition has been reported. The cause of this
disorder is likely to be multifactorial and attributable to a combination of factors, varying
from patient to patient.
Controversy exists as to whether the pregnancy per se rather than the mode of delivery alters
the risk of POP. Caesarean section appears to protect against the development of prolapse.
However, when a caesarean section is undertaken during the active stage of labour it may not
be completely protective. Ideally prospective longitudinal studies are needed to study the
impact of pregnancy and childbirth on pelvic organ prolapse. Unfortunately, studies to date,
are small with poor follow-up and have only assessed objective outcome rendering it difficult
to draw conclusions. The primary objective of our study was to objectively assess the impact
of pregnancy and childbirth on pelvic organ support using the Pelvic Organ Prolapse