How common is pelvic organ prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse is experienced almost entirely by adult women. It is more common in white and Hispanic women than in African American women.1

Pelvic organ prolapse is caused most commonly by labor and childbirth. A woman's risk of developing pelvic organ prolapse is 8 times greater after two vaginal births. Her risk increases by 12 times with four or more vaginal births. About 96 out of 100 women who have pelvic organ prolapse have had vaginal births.2


  1. Hendrix SL, et al. (2002). Pelvic organ prolapse in the Women's Health Initiative: Gravity and gravidity. American Journal of Obstetrical Gynecology, 186(6): 1160–1166.
  2. DeLancey JOL (2008). Epidemiology, pathophysiology, and evaluation of pelvic organ support. In RS Gibbs et al., eds., Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology, 10th ed., pp. 818–838. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Last Updated: October 20, 2008

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