What increases my risk for pelvic organ prolapse?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Pregnancy and vaginal delivery of your baby are most likely to increase your risk for pelvic organ prolapse (POP). The more babies you deliver vaginally, the more your risk increases. Also, having surgery in the pelvic area increases the likelihood that the muscles, nerves or connective tissue in the pelvis will sustain damage and cause a prolapse. Some health issues, such as being obese, having a chronic cough or having a tumor or nerve damage in the pelvic area also increase your risk, as these conditions can strain or damage the pelvic muscles and tissues.

Other risk factors that can damage the pelvic muscles and tissue include lifting heavy objects, strenuous exercise, and having bowel movements that cause you to strain. Your risk also increases as you get older, since aging can negatively affect the pelvic muscles, tissue and organs. A family history of pelvic organ prolapse also increases your risk, as the condition may be hereditary in some cases.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.