A systematic review of clinical studies on hereditary factors in pelvic organ prolapse

Int Urogynecol J. 2012 Oct;23(10):1327-36. doi: 10.1007/s00192-012-1704-4. Epub 2012 Mar 16.


Introduction and hypothesis: There is growing evidence that pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is at least partly caused by underlying hereditary risk factors. The aim of our study was to provide a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of clinical studies on family history of POP as a risk factor for POP in individual women.

Methods: The databases PubMed and Embase were searched. Clinical studies reporting on family history of POP in relation to POP in individual women were included.

Results: Sixteen studies were included, of which eight enabled us to calculate a pooled odds ratio (OR). The pooled OR of POP in case of a positive family history of POP was 2.58 (95 % confidence interval 2.12-3.15).

Conclusions: Women with POP are substantially more likely to have family members with the same condition compared to women without POP. This strengthens the hypothesis that genetic predisposition plays an important role in the development of POP.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / epidemiology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / epidemiology
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / genetics*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors