International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 11, pp 1753–1759 | Cite as

Prevalence of, and risk factors for, symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse in Rural Bangladesh: a cross-sectional survey study

  • Farjana Akter
  • Pragya Gartoulla
  • John Oldroyd
  • Rakibul M. IslamEmail author
Original Article


Introduction and hypothesis

The prevalence of symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse (POP), diagnosed by a pre-tested structured questionnaire, is unknown in Bangladesh. We investigated the prevalence of, and risk factors for, symptomatic POP in women in rural Bangladesh, recruited from the community.


A cross-sectional survey of 787 women aged over 15 years was conducted in four villages in one district in rural Bangladesh. The prevalence of symptomatic POP and the risk factors associated with the condition was investigated, using Chi-squared and multivariate logistic regression.


The prevalence of symptomatic POP was 15.6 %. The mean age of participants was 40.1 (±9.0) years. Women aged 35–44 years (odds ratio [OR] 1.96, 95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.03–3.73) and ≥45 years (OR 2.95, 95 % CI 1.62–5.38) were more likely to have POP compared with women aged ≤35 years. Having POP was positively associated with women having ≥5 children (OR 4.34, 95 % CI 1.39–13.58), having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; OR 2.07, 95 % CI 1.02–4.21), and women having constipation (OR 3.54, 95 % CI 1.87–6.72). Women whose husband had >5 years of schooling were less likely to have POP (OR 0.37, 95 % CI 0.19–0.73) compared with women whose husband had no schooling.


Symptomatic POP affects a substantial proportion of women in rural Bangladesh and increases with age. Parity, COPD, constipation and husband’s education are associated with POP, all of which have the potential to be modified. Thus, interventions targeting these risk factors to prevent the condition are urgently needed in Bangladesh.


Prevalence Pelvic organ prolapse Risk factors Bangladesh 



We thank our research assistant for her sincere efforts in data collection and the rural women of Bangladesh for participating in this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farjana Akter
    • 1
  • Pragya Gartoulla
    • 2
  • John Oldroyd
    • 3
  • Rakibul M. Islam
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Jahangirnagar UniversityDhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.Sunaulo Parivar Nepal implementing partner of Marie Stopes InternationalKathmanduNepal
  3. 3.School of Public Health and Preventive MedicineMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Population SciencesUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh

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