Study Reports Constipation As Complication Of POP, SUI

Medical experts have long accepted that constipation is among the leading risk factors of pelvic floor such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence. This would also apply the other way around, based on the results of a study performed not too long ago which found that women with POP and SUI are also exposed to increased risks of suffering constipation.


With the objective of determining the connection between POP, constipation, and dietary fiber intake in women, a clinical study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. This was carried out with the hypothesis that women diagnosed with POP are more likely to develop constipation than those without this condition and that this disorder is related to the intake of dietary fiber.


Involved in this study were 90 women who were asked to join the clinical trial when they reported for their annual gynecological examinations. Sixty women who were diagnosed with stage 2 POP composed the study group while the 30 remaining participants were made the control group. All the subjects were requested to complete questionnaires designed to assess their POP, SUI, and constipation conditions. To determine the level of dietary fiber in their diets, a similar questionnaire, which featured 124 food items, was also given.


Outcome of Study


That women with POP had increased risk of constipation compared to those under the control group was the conclusion made based on the results. This risk became even higher for those who were also diagnosed with SUI, which constituted 38 percent of the study group. The researchers also suggested that the lack of dietary fiber may partly contribute to the increased risk of POP after it was found that those with this condition had lower intake of insoluble fiber. These findings were arrived at after establishing that there were no significant differences in mean age, number of childbirths, and estrogen status.


Significance of Study Results


The outcome of this study is very significant in that it makes women aware of the possible complication of constipation should they develop this common pelvic floor disorder. Women now should be encouraged to include insoluble fiber in their diet for its laxative effect. In addition to this diet change, approaches such as exercises, water intake, and medications may also be observed in the management of constipation.


The prevention of this pelvic floor disorder is perhaps the best thing a woman may do to avoid constipation and other complications resulting from POP. Making changes in her lifestyle and behavioral practices and engaging in pelvic floor muscle training are examples of ways to achieve this goal.


Doing this may prove beneficial to a woman especially considering that this disorder can have a very huge negative impact on a woman’s quality of life. It has been known that this may worsen the problem if surgical options, such as vaginal mesh surgeries, may be required. After being implanted with these mesh devices, thousands of women sustained serious injuries. Due to the numerous injuries suffered by women, a doctor has likened the vaginal mesh to a ticking time bomb.




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