Pelvic organ descent in young nulligravid women

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Abstract

Objective

There is little information available on what constitutes “normal” pelvic organ mobility. This study presents normal values for urethral, bladder, cervical, and rectal descent on Valsalva.

Study design

One hundred eighteen nulligravid white women aged 18 to 24 years were recruited for a prospective observational study. Translabial ultrasound was undertaken supine and after voiding, with the most effective of at least 3 Valsalva maneuvers used for evaluation.

Results

Urethral rotation on Valsalva varied from 0 to +90 degrees (mean 32 degrees), bladder neck descent from 1.2 to 40.2 mm (mean 17.4 mm). The cervix descended to between 59 and 0 mm above the symphysis pubis (mean 30.8 mm); the rectal ampulla descended to between 54 mm above and 22 mm below the symphyseal margin (mean 7.8 mm). In a test-retest series, intraclass correlations were between 0.64 and 0.89, implying good-to-excellent repeatability of the ultrasound assessment.

Conclusion

A wide range of values was obtained for all parameters. A significant congenital contribution to the phenotype of female pelvic organ prolapse appears likely.

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