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Online reported women’s experiences of symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse after vaginal birth
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5224-6411
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8345-8994
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8354-3382
2019 (English)In: BMC Women's Health, ISSN 1472-6874, E-ISSN 1472-6874, Vol. 19, article id 129Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a major public health problem with a relative high lifetime risk of surgery. The main risk factor for developing POP is vaginal birth. Many women become symptomatic later in life and most of the existing research on symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse (sPOP) predominantly concentrates on the effects of the condition on postmenopausal women. However bothersome symptoms of POP can be reported as early as in women’s 20s and may occur shortly after vaginal birth. Limited studies provide an insight into daily life of fertile women with sPOP. Thus, we aimed to explore fertile women’s experiences of symptomatic pelvic organ (sPOP) after vaginal birth.

Methods: An inductive, text-driven approach was taken by selecting thread posts from an internet forum written by 33 Swedish fertile women who had experienced sPOP after vaginal birth.

Results: The overarching theme “being irreparably damaged” was identified as representing an experience of being disabled by sPOP after vaginal birth. The fertile women experienced that their lives were ruined because of physical and psychological limitations caused by this unexpected, unfamiliar and unexplained condition. Living with sPOP impinged on sexual health, restricted daily and sports activities and affected the women’s ability to fulfill everyday parental duties. This in turn compromised women’s psychological health. In addition, the negligence of healthcare professionals who tended to trivialize and normalize the symptoms led to the belief that there were no sustainable treatments and that women would have to live with bothersome symptoms of POP for rest of their lives.

Conclusions: This study found that sPOP had a significant negative impact on fertile women’s lives. The women indicated that they had not had the opportunity to voice their concerns and had not been taken seriously by healthcare professionals. It is of the utmost importance to acknowledge this problem and develop guidelines for prevention and management of sPOP to improve the quality of life for women. © Mirskaya, Lindgren & Carlsson. 2019

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, UK: BioMed Central, 2019. Vol. 19, article id 129
Keywords [en]
Fertile women, Pelvic organ prolapse, Pelvic organ prolapse symptoms, Psychological trauma, Qualitative research, Vaginal birth
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-40969DOI: 10.1186/s12905-019-0830-2PubMedID: 31664987Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85074336233OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-40969DiVA, id: diva2:1370692
Available from: 2019-11-16 Created: 2019-11-16 Last updated: 2019-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Mirskaya, MariaLindgren, Eva-CarinCarlsson, Ing-Marie
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