International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 127–135 | Cite as

Pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence in developing countries: review of prevalence and risk factors

Review Article

Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

Information on the prevalence, risk factors and social consequences of pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) affecting women in 16 low-income and lower middle-income countries is reviewed.

Methods

Medline searches were performed for articles dealing with prevalence of PFD.

Results

Thirty studies were identified. The mean prevalence for pelvic organ prolapse was 19.7% (range 3.4–56.4%), urinary incontinence (UI) was 28.7% (range 5.2–70.8%) and faecal incontinence (FI) was 6.9% (range 5.3–41.0%). Risk factors for PFD are similar to those in more affluent countries particularly increased age and parity, but additionally, PFD is associated with other factors including poor nutrition and heavy work. The social consequences of PFD conditions can be devastating.

Conclusions

Pelvic organ prolapse and urinary and faecal incontinence are significant problems in developing countries. Access to health care to manage these conditions is often limited, and women usually have to live with the consequences for the rest of their lives.

Keywords

Pelvic organ prolapse Prevalence Risk factors Urinary and faecal incontinence 

Abbrevations

PFD

Pelvic floor dysfunction

POP

Pelvic organ prolapse

UI

Urinary incontinence

FI

Faecal incontinence

OR

Odds ratio

CI

Confidence interval

I&E

Interview and examination

N

Number

Notes

Conflicts of interest

None.

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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, School of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, Division of Perinatal and Reproductive MedicineUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.UNFPAKabulAfghanistan
  3. 3.LondonUK

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