Pelvic Organ Prolapse Severity and Genital Hiatus Size with Long-Term Pessary Use

Sarah S. Boyd, Divya Subramanian, Katie Propst, David O'Sullivan, Paul Tulikangas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives To evaluate the association between pessary use more than 1 year and change in prolapse severity. Methods This is a secondary analysis of a previously published randomized controlled trial of women undergoing office management of pessaries for management of symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence. Primary outcome was change in pelvic organ prolapse quantification measurement genital hiatus (GH). Secondary outcomes included change in prolapse stage, type of pessary, size of pessary, number of pessary changes, and duration of use. Baseline data were collected from the earliest documented examination within the hospital record before pessary placement and compared with their final study visit. Demographics were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Student t test and Mann-Whitney tests were used for categorical comparisons. Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients were used to evaluate change over time. Results The cohort was 132 predominantly non-Hispanic White (75%) women with symptomatic prolapse >stage 2 (70.5%). All were postmenopausal. Median duration of pessary use was 39.5 months (interquartile range, 17-64.5 months). Genital hiatus (P = 0.014) and prolapse stage (P = 0.001) decreased as duration of pessary use increased. Those with baseline stages ≥3 had a significant decrease in GH as duration of pessary use increased compared with stages <3 (-0.5 cm vs 0 cm, P < 0.001). There was no difference in change in GH when comparing women with baseline GH less than 3 to 3 cm or greater. Conclusions Pessary use by women with pelvic organ prolapse causes a change in vaginal anatomy over time as seen by decreasing stage and point GH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E360-E362
JournalFemale Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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