Pelvic organ prolapse is a common female complaint, with 50% of women experiencing some degree of pelvic relaxation, although not all have any symptoms. Prolapse is found most commonly in the anterior vaginal walls. Posterior vaginal wall and apical prolapse are the other, less common, categories. There are a large number of potential risk factors, but increased age, parity and body mass index are most consistently reported. A variety of symptoms may be experienced, including a feeling of something coming down, pelvic heaviness, urinary, bowel and sexual dysfunction. Two main treatment options exist, conservative management (pessary or pelvic floor rehabilitation) or surgical repair, however the evidence-base for treatment is weak. The specialist nurse is well-placed to contribute to the initial assessment, management and ongoing support of women with prolapse.
Richardson, K., Hagen, S., Glazener, C., & Stark, D. (2009). The role of nurses in the management of women with pelvic organ prolapse. British Journal of Nursing, 18(5), 294-300. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2009.18.5.40710