This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in


Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

In women with symptoms suggestive of POP, offer pelvic examination.

  • this facilitates defining the extent of prolapse and in establishing the segments of the vagina affected (anterior, posterior, or apical)
  • patients should be observed while resting and straining both standing and supine positions
  • a procidentia should be obvious
  • split-speculum examination with a Sims speculum or the posterior blade of a Graves speculum is used for the vaginal examination
    • for anterior vaginal prolapse - using a speculum to hold back the posterior vaginal wall ask the patient to strain. This should demonstrate descent of the anterior vaginal wall indicative of a cystocoele or urethral displacement
    • for posterior vaginal prolapse - similarly, holding back the anterior vaginal wall while the patient strains, will demonstrate a rectocele (1)

According to the presenting symptoms, additional testing would be required in majority of patients e.g. -

  • POP plus lower urinary tract symptoms - urine analysis and post-void residual volume evaluation to test for urinary tract infection, haematuria, and incomplete bladder emptying.
  • substantial urinary incontinence, irritative voiding symptoms, or voiding dysfunction – urodynamics
  • outlet constipation or faecal incontinence - defecography, anal manometry and endoanal ultrasound (1).

Rectal examination - to confirm posterior wall prolapse and distinguish rectocele from enterocele.

In cases of difficulty, ask the patient to stand or walk for some time before examination.


  1. Barber MD. Pelvic organ prolapse. BMJ. 2016;354:i3853

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.