International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 1129–1134 | Cite as

Obesity: how much does it matter for female pelvic organ prolapse?

  • Natharnia Young
  • Ixora Kamisan Atan
  • Rodrigo Guzman Rojas
  • Hans Peter Dietz
Original Article


Introduction and hypothesis

The objective was to determine the association between body mass index (BMI) and symptoms and signs of female pelvic organ prolapse (POP).


An observational cross-sectional study of 964 archived datasets of women seen for symptoms and signs of lower urinary tract and pelvic organ dysfunction between September 2011 and February 2014 at a tertiary urogynaecology centre in Australia was carried out. An in-house standardised interview, the International Continence Society Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification (ICS POP-Q) and 4-D translabial ultrasound, followed by analysis of ultrasound volumes for pelvic organ descent and hiatal area on Valsalva, were performed, blinded against other data.


There is a positive association between BMI and posterior compartment prolapse on clinical examination and ultrasound imaging, but not for the anterior and central compartments. There was no association with prolapse symptom bother and a negative association with symptoms of prolapse.


In this observational study, we found a strong association between all tested measures of posterior compartment descent and BMI, both clinical and on imaging.


Pelvic organ prolapse BMI Obesity Translabial ultrasound 



The authors would like to thank Andrew Martin, PhD, Senior Biostatistician at NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, for his help with the statistical analysis


This study was unfunded.

Compliance with ethical standards

Financial disclaimer/conflicts of interest

HP Dietz has received unrestricted educational grants and honoraria from GE Medical. None of the other authors has any conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natharnia Young
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ixora Kamisan Atan
    • 3
    • 4
  • Rodrigo Guzman Rojas
    • 3
    • 5
    • 6
  • Hans Peter Dietz
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GynaecologyMonash HealthMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics & GynaecologyMonash HealthBentleigh EastAustralia
  3. 3.Sydney Medical School NepeanNepean HospitalPenrithAustralia
  4. 4.Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC)Kuala LumpurMalaysia
  5. 5.Unidad de Piso Pélvico Femenino, Departamento de Ginecología y ObstetriciaHospital Clínico Universidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  6. 6.Departamento de Ginecología y Obstetricia, Clínica Alemana de Santiago, Facultad de Medicina Clínica AlemanaUniversidad del DesarrolloSantiagoChile

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