Objective: We sought to examine the prevalence of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) symptoms and risk factors in a general white population.
Study design: This was a cross-sectional study. All female residents aged 45-85 years in a small Dutch city received validated questionnaires. Women were classified as symptomatic if they reported feeling and/or seeing vaginal bulge.
Results: Response rate was 62.7% (1869/2979). Prevalence of POP was 11.4%. Multivariate analysis revealed POP symptoms during pregnancy, a maternal history of POP, and heavy physical work, with a total population-attributable risk of 46%.
Conclusion: There is high prevalence of symptomatic POP in a general white population of which independent risk factors are POP symptoms during pregnancy, a maternal history of POP, and heavy physical work. Clinicians should focus on risk factors in counseling of (pregnant) women to inform women to be aware of further exposures for themselves and their daughters.