Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a major cause of morbidity in Nepal, particularly affecting women in the rural communities. Women with POP in Nepal may suffer from symptoms for decades. At present, the Government of Nepal advocates surgical intervention but access to surgical care is inadequate. This report evaluated the feasibility of a non-surgical public health programme in rural Nepal, and describes risk factors associated with POP in this setting.
Prospective monitoring and evaluation study of a new public health programme.
Baglung district, rural Nepal.
Women with gynaecological symptoms of POP.
Risk factors for disease progression were assessed using Fisher’s exact test, Pearson’s χ2-test and logistic regression analysis.
Of the 74 women included in this analysis, 70.8% were diagnosed with stage 2 POP or greater. The majority of women did not have any further children following the onset of POP symptoms (63.5%). Duration of symptoms ranged from 2 months to 60 years, with 73.4% of women suffering for over 5 years and 28.4% suffering for over 20 years. Univariate analyses identified age at screening, age at onset of symptoms, the duration of symptoms and an associated rectocele as factors associated with increasing POP severity ( p < 0.05). Kegel exercises were taught to 25 (33.8%) women with POP and ring pessaries were offered to 47 (63.5%) women with POP.
Non-surgical interventions may provide an opportunity to address the significant burden of POP in rural Nepal.