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Prevalence and associated factors of pelvic organ prolapse among women attending gynecologic clinic in referral hospitals of Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia

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Introduction and hypothesis

While pelvic organ prolapse is common in clinical observation, there is a lack of evidence regarding its actual proportion and associated factors in the study area. Understanding the prevalence and risk factors could potentially help with prevention. Thus, this study aimed to determine the prevalence and associated factors related to pelvic organ prolapse in the Amhara region, northwest Ethiopia.


An institutional-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 424 women, recruited by the systematic random sampling technique. Data were collected in a face-to-face interview using a structured and pre-tested questionnaire to assess the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse and the socio-demographic, obstetric, gynecologic, medical and surgical characteristics. The stage of prolapse was determined by pelvic examination using the Simplified Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification staging system. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses were employed.


The overall prevalence of pelvic organ prolapse (stage I–IV) was found to be 37.6% when determined by pelvic examination and 9.2% as assessed by prolapse symptoms. Age ≥ 40 years [AOR 2.46 (1.320, 5.314)], age at first delivery ≤ 20 years [AOR 4.719 (2.44, 9.11)], carrying heavy objects for ≥ 5 hours a day [AOR 12.724 (4.89, 33.07)], parity ≥ 4 [AOR 3.739 (1.693, 8.208)], prolonged labor [AOR 3.487 (1.699, 7.159)], constipation [AOR 2.835 (1.273, 6.317)] and anemia [AOR 2.22 (1.049, 4.694)] were significantly associated with pelvic organ prolapse.


Prevalence of pelvic organ prolapse is high in the area; thus, developing information and education programs on avoiding risk factors is advisable to reduce the problem.

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Data availability

The authors declare that the data regarding this manuscript can be accessed as per the request of any interested body and can be submitted for publication in Spring Nature as supplementary materials.



Adjusted odds ratio


Statistical Package for Social Sciences


Body mass index


Confidence interval


Interquartile range


Standard deviation


Pelvic organ prolapse


Simplified Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification System


The United Arab Emirates


Diabetes mellitus


Reproductive Risks for Incontinence Study at Kaiser


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We would like to acknowledge the Department of Midwifery, College of Medicine and Health Science, University of Gondar, Amhara Regional State Referral Hospitals administrators, study participants and data collectors.

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Authors and Affiliations



Haymanot Alem and Tibeb Zena were involved in the conception and design of the study, participated in data collection, analyzed the data and drafted the manuscript, and approved the final version of the manuscript. Fisseha Yetwale, Mulunesh Abuhay and Kelemu Abebe were involved in data analysis and interpretation of data and approved the last version of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Haymanot Alem Muche.

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Ethics approval and consent to participate

Ethical clearance was obtained from the Department of Midwifery under permission given by the Ethical Review Board of the University of Gondar. Written informed consent was obtained from each respondent after informing her about the objective of the study.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this article.

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Muche, H.A., Kassie, F., Biweta, M.A. et al. Prevalence and associated factors of pelvic organ prolapse among women attending gynecologic clinic in referral hospitals of Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia. Int Urogynecol J 32, 1419–1426 (2021).

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