Long-term pelvic floor symptoms and urogenital prolapse after hysterectomy

C.K.M. Vermeulen*, J. Veen, C. Adang, A.L.W.M. Coolen, S.A.L. van Leijsen, M.Y. Bongers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BackgroundThe aim of this study was to describe the natural course of pelvic floor symptoms and pelvic floor anatomy for women long-term after hysterectomy.MethodsWomen who underwent hysterectomy between 1996-2004 carried out the PFDI-20 questionnaire and POP-Q examination. We collected data on the presence and type of pelvic floor symptoms and its relation to the degree of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) per compartment (>= stage 2).ResultsWe obtained data from 247 women on average sixteen years after hysterectomy, with no prolapse (n = 94), anterior prolapse (n = 76), posterior prolapse (n = 38), both anterior- and posterior prolapse (n = 20), and a prolapse involving the vaginal vault (n = 19). Of all 153 women with >= stage 2 prolapse, 80 (52%) experienced moderate and/or severe symptoms of the PFDI-20. Most frequently reported symptoms by women with POP were uncontrollable flatus, urinary frequency and urge incontinence. Bulging was associated with a prolapse beyond the hymen. 39% Of women without prolapse experienced bothersome pelvic floor symptoms as well. Most often these were stress incontinence, straining to pass stool and incomplete bowel emptying. Women with a history of hysterectomy for prolapse have more pelvic floor symptoms than women who underwent hysterectomy for other indications, regardless of the current presence of POP (57% versus 40%, p = 0.009).ConclusionIn a group of post-hysterectomy women who did not actively seek help, 47% experienced problematic pelvic floor symptoms, independent of the presence or absence of an anatomic POP. Creating more knowledge and awareness of the impact of hysterectomy on the pelvic floor can help women in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Women's Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2023


  • Hysterectomy
  • Prolapse
  • Pelvic floor
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Symptoms
  • Women
  • PFDI-20


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