Patient characteristics associated with treatment choice for pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence

Stephanie A. Sullivan, Emily R.W. Davidson, C. Emi Bretschneider, Abigail L. Liberty, Elizabeth J. Geller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction and hypothesis: Women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) frequently undergo more than one treatment prior to settling on their final strategy. We hypothesize that women who are younger, with worse POP and SUI symptoms will desire and choose surgical treatment. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed over 1 year identifying new patients presenting with POP and/or SUI at a university hospital. Our aim was to determine patient desire for either surgical or conservative treatment, as well as the actual treatment chosen and received after the first visit and 1 year later. To identify predictors of choice, baseline demographic characteristics were obtained. Results: Of the 203 women who met the inclusion criteria, 44.3 % (90/203) desired surgery and 55.7 % (113/203) desired conservative treatment at their first visit. Women who desired surgery were more likely to be younger (p = 0.003), sexually active (p = 0.001), have more advanced prolapse (p = 0.006), and have more bothersome symptoms (p = 0.05). Of the women who desired surgery at their first visit, 12.2 % (11/90) actually chose conservative treatment. These women were less likely to be insured (p = 0.01). By 1 year, of the women who initially desired and subsequently chose conservative treatment, 26.5 % (30/113) had undergone surgery. The women who changed from conservative to surgical treatment were more likely to be younger (p = 0.01), non-White (p = 0.03), and sexually active (p = 0.04). Conclusions: In this study, younger, sexually active women were more likely to either opt for surgery initially or to change their treatment plan from conservative to surgical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-816
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Incontinence
  • Pessary
  • Prolapse
  • Treatment choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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