The primary objective of this study was to investigate the percentages of women choosing watchful waiting, pessary use or surgery as first-line treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Second, the rate and cause of discontinuation of pessary use were investigated.
A retrospective chart review was conducted on 794 patients referred with POP at a Danish tertiary center for urogynecology at Aalborg University Hospital between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2015. The following data were registered: age, BMI, previous use of a pessary, total number of births, vaginal births, cesarean sections, previous hysterectomy, prolapse surgery and incontinence surgery, smoking, menopause, sexual status and POP-Q stage in the three vaginal compartments. Pessary treatments were evaluated after 3 months. Additional visits, reason for discontinuation and secondary treatment were noted.
First-line treatment was surgery in 50%, watchful waiting in 33% and pessary use in 17% of patients. Characteristics associated with choosing surgery instead of a pessary were age 2. Characteristics associated with choosing watchful waiting instead of a pessary were age < 65 years and prolapse in the posterior compartment. A total of 33% discontinued pessary treatment within the first 3 months. Discontinuation was associated with age < 65 years, previous hysterectomy and pelvic surgery, and additional visits. Expulsion of the pessary and pain/discomfort were the main causes of discontinuation.
This study showed that 50% of patients referred with POP were treated with conservative treatment (watchful waiting and pessary) and thus more women could probably be treated in primary care.