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Vaginal hysterectomy and risk of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence surgery

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Introduction and hypothesis

This study aims to determine the risk of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) surgery related to mode of hysterectomy focusing on vaginal hysterectomy.


We performed a nationwide cohort study. Women exposed to hysterectomy on benign indications (n = 118,601) were compared to women unexposed to hysterectomy (n = 579,200). The outcome was defined as first occurrence of POP or SUI surgery. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Cox proportional-hazards models.


The greatest risks of POP (HR 4.9, 95% CI 3.4–6.9) or SUI surgery (HR 6.3, 95% CI 4.4–9.1) were observed subsequent to vaginal hysterectomy for pelvic organ prolapse. Having a vaginal hysterectomy for other reasons also significantly increased the risks of POP and SUI surgery compared to other modes of hysterectomy.


Hysterectomy in general, in particular vaginal hysterectomy, was associated with an increased risk for subsequent POP and SUI surgery.

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Correspondence to Catharina Forsgren.

Additional information

The study was presented in part at the Nordic Urogynecological Association annual meeting, Copenhagen, Denmark, January 22–23, 2010.

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Forsgren, C., Lundholm, C., Johansson, A.L.V. et al. Vaginal hysterectomy and risk of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence surgery. Int Urogynecol J 23, 43–48 (2012).

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