Pelvic organ descent and symptoms of pelvic floor disorders

Chiara Ghetti, W. Thomas Gregory, S. Renee Edwards, Lesley N. Otto, Amanda L. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Objective: This study evaluates the relationship between symptoms of pelvic floor disorders, and measurement of pelvic organ prolapse. Study design: This retrospective cross-sectional study assessed prolapse in 905 women in an academic urogynecologic practice using the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification exam. Symptoms were assessed with a Likert symptom questionnaire and the Urogenital Distress Inventory. Relationships between symptoms and prolapse were analyzed using Spearman's correlation. Results: Symptoms of "bulging" correlated moderately to the greatest extent of prolapse (r = 0.4, P < .001). Frequency of bother progressively increases when the leading edge descends from -3 and 0. Between +1 and +5, 90% of women report bother. Symptoms typically attributed to anterior or posterior wall prolapse did not correlate with descent of the respective compartment. Conclusion: "Bulging" is the principle symptom that correlates with prolapse severity. We found no discrete anatomic position that discriminates between prolapse as a disease state and normal anatomic variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Pelvic anatomy
  • Pelvic floor
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Vagina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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