Self-perceived natural history of pelvic organ prolapse described by women presenting for treatment

Christina Lewicky-Gaupp*, Rebecca U. Margulies, Kindra Larson, Dee E. Fenner, Daniel M. Morgan, John O L DeLancey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction and hypothesis: This study aimed to describe the self-perceived natural history of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in women seeking care. Methods: Women presenting to a university-based urogynecology clinic for POP (n =107) completed a questionnaire including questions about how and when their prolapse was discovered. A urogynecologic examination including the pelvic organ prolapse quantification (POP-Q) was also performed. Results: Forty-eight percent of these women sought medical attention "immediately" after discovering a bulge. The median time to seek care was 4 months (range from 1 month to 45 years). Twenty-six percent associated their prolapse with a specific event (e.g., moving furniture or pushing a car). POP was self-discovered by 76% (81/107) of women. Self-discovered prolapses were larger than those diagnosed by physicians (Ba +1.3 vs 0.1 cm, P =.03, respectively). Conclusions: Women seek medical advice within months of discovering their prolapse. Self-discovery is associated with higher stage prolapse than prolapse diagnosed by health care providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-931
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Natural history
  • Pelvic organ prolapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology

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