Although POP is one of the most common indications for a gynaecological operation, there are relatively few studies on incidence and prevalence of POP.3 A prevalence of symptomatic POP between 4-12% of all women has been reported for Australia and Sweden.4,5 One of the few population studies shows that about 40% of women have a stage 2 or more prolapse.6 The probability that a prolapse causes serious discomfort is much lower (11%). A large US study shows a prevalence of 14.2% in all women, resp 41% for women between 50-79 years of age.7

A review of studies in developing countries demonstrates a higher mean prevalence of of POP 19.7% in these countries.8 As studies have major differences in design, definitions and methods, the value of comparison of results is limited. In a systematic review is stated that the low and lower income countries have almost twice the burden of POP than countries of the higher economy.28 Future POP incidence, prevalence, and natural history studies should include non-white women from LMICs and should combine pelvic examination data with validated patient-reported outcome measures when feasible. Anticipated future service needs differ globally, with a greater demand for POP treatment services in well-resourced settings where aging populations are prevalent.37