What Stage is my Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

When a woman has pelvic organ prolapse, rectocele, and uterine prolapse, the extent of the prolapse is described in the form of a stage. Staging is a process by which we objectively define how large the bulge of a prolapse is by physical examination of the pelvis. There are four stages, 1-4, with Stage 1 being the least amount of prolapse and Stage 4 being the most amount of prolapse.

Staging of pelvic organ prolapse is done solely by clinical exam of the pelvis (ie no CT scans or MRIs are needed). There are multiple pelvic areas that are independently staged: the front vaginal wall, the back vaginal wall, and the top (apex) of the vagina. If the uterus is present, it is also given a prolapse stage.

The reason that we stage pelvic organ prolapse is so that we can decide the best procedure that can be done to repair the prolapse. For example, a Stage 1 prolapse that does not give a woman any symptoms would likely just be observed over time. A Stage 2 prolapse of one area of the vagina would require a conservative surgical repair. Multiple Stage 3 prolapses of the pelvic organs would require a more aggressive repair.

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