Pelvic organ prolapse

This patient information, Pelvic Organ Prolapse: information for you, explores why pelvic organ prolapse happens and looks at the different types of prolapse. It also discusses possible symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options.

Pelvic organ prolapse is a very common condition, with half of women over the age of 50 experiencing symptoms and 1 in 10 women by the age of 80 will have had surgery for prolapse.

Normally caused by pregnancy and childbirth, prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles holding the organs within a woman’s pelvis (uterus, bladder and rectum) are weakened or overstretched and the organs bulge from their natural position into the vagina.

Between 25 and 30% of women who have surgery for pelvic organ prolapse will develop another prolapse in the future, however, simple lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, smoking cessation, treatment for a chronic cough, treatment for constipation and avoiding heavy physical activities can reduce symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse and reduce the chances of a prolapse returning after surgery.

The leaflet can be downloaded as a pdf by clicking on the link below: