International Urogynecological Consultation: clinical definition of pelvic organ prolapse

Sarah A. Collins*, Michele O’Shea, Nicola Dykes, Olga Ramm, Autumn Edenfield, Ka Lai Shek, Kim van Delft, Molly Beestrum, Kimberly Kenton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Introduction and hypothesis: This segment of Chapter 1 of the International Urogynecology Consultation (IUC) on pelvic organ prolapse (POP) reviews the literature on the clinical definition of POP with the intent of creating standard terminology. Methods: An international group containing nine urogynecologists and one university-based medical librarian performed a search of the literature using pre-specified search terms in PubMed, Embase, and Scopus. Publications were eliminated if not relevant to the clinical definition of POP, and those articles remaining were evaluated for quality using the Specialist Unit for Review Evidence (SURE). The resulting list of articles was used to inform a comprehensive review and creation of the clinical definition of POP. Results: The original search yielded 31,931 references, of which 167 were used by the writing group. Ultimately, 78 are referenced in the manuscript. Conclusions: The clinical definition of POP for this review of the literature is: “anatomical prolapse with descent of at least one of the vaginal walls to or beyond the vaginal hymen with maximal Valsalva effort WITH the presence either of bothersome characteristic symptoms, most commonly the sensation of vaginal bulge, or of functional or medical compromise due to prolapse without symptom bother.”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2011-2019
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Clinical definition
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Terminology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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