Posts Tagged ‘pelvic organ prolapse’

Study Reports Constipation As Complication Of POP, SUI

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

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.




Study Finds Vitamin D Deficiency Risk Factor For POP, SUI

Monday, October 21st, 2013

By helping in bone development, strengthening of the immune system, aiding in weight loss, decreasing the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes, vitamin D has always been recognized by medical experts as a vital component in health maintenance. Vitamin D may also play a significant role in decreasing the risk of developing pelvic disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) as reported by a recent study.

Women suffering from pelvic disorders were found to have low levels of vitamin D, according to a study conducted by researchers from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York which was released in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. This connection was made after evaluating data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey involving 1,881 non-pregnant women over the age of 20 years.

Eighty-two percent of the participants were found to have vitamin D levels that were deemed deficient which in this case would be lower than 30 nanograms per milliliter. Of this number, 23 percent were reportedly suffering from one or more pelvic floor disorders and these women had significantly lower levels of vitamin D compared to the others in the group.

Those with higher levels of vitamin D had lower risks of pelvic floor disorders, according to researchers of the study. It was determined that the risk in older women, who were supposed to be strong candidates for these pelvic floor disorders, was 45 percent lower if vitamin D levels were within normal range.

Produced in the body as a result of exposure to sunlight or found in certain products or supplements, vitamin D is actually a group of fat-soluble prohormones that encourages the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous. Vitamin D is therefore very important in strengthening the bones and muscles including the pelvic floor muscles which may lead to incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders if these muscles become weak due to deficiency of this vitamin.  

The results of the study may suggest that addressing the deficiency of vitamin D may be beneficial to women who are at risk of developing pelvic floor disorders. Researchers, however, believe that further studies may be needed to validate these findings and to evaluate the role of vitamin D in the development of pelvic floor disorders. This becomes very critical in light of the rapid increase of these disorders which have already affected millions of people.

If indeed vitamin D may reduce the risks of getting POP or SUI, then this should be very welcome to the thousands of women who may develop these conditions. This may mean being spared the need for surgical procedures such as the vaginal mesh surgery which has been in the limelight recently for the injuries it has caused to thousands of patients. Numerous vaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed across the country as a result of the injuries suffered by women. For more information on this issue, you may refer to