Pelvic organ prolapse: A primer for urologists

Michel Bureau, Kevin V. Carlson

Abstract


Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) results from weakness or injury of the pelvic floor supports with resulting descent of one or more vaginal compartments (anterior, apical and/or posterior). Women typically become symptomatic from the bulging vaginal wall or related organ dysfunction once this descent reaches the introitus. POP is a common condition, affecting more than half of adult women. Many women presenting to an urologist for stress urinary incontinence or overactive bladder will have associated POP; therefore, it is important for urologists who treat these conditions to be familiar with its diagnosis and management. While POP is part of the core urology training curriculum in some jurisdictions, it is not in Canada.1 This article reviews the diagnosis of POP, including pertinent symptoms to query in the history, important facets of a systematic pelvic examination, and the appropriate use of ancillary tests. Treatment options are also discussed, including conservative measures, pessaries, and various reconstructive and obliterative techniques.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.4634