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Family history places women at risk of pelvic organ prolapse, SLU research finds
Date:4/30/2008

, more than half had prolapse.

Of the women without a relative who had a hernia or prolapse, about 29 percent had prolapse, significantly fewer than those with a direct family connection.

You cant change your family history, McLennan says, But there are a number of things you can change to minimize your risk of developing prolapse.

Women with a family history should not take a job that requires them to do heavy lifting. They should watch their weight. They should avoid becoming constipated so they dont strain during bowel movements, she says.

McLennan found that the risk of prolapse in women with a family history dramatically increases among those who delivered three or more children vaginally. More research is needed on the connection between vaginal deliveries and the effect of family history, she says.

I think people need to be aware of their family history as it may affect how a young woman thinks of the number of children she will have or how she will deliver them. With the increasing trend demand for elective Cesarean section, this may have a role in the decision making process for select patients, McLennan says.

The study underscores the importance of women knowing their family history (both maternal and paternal) and reporting it to their physician.

The research, published in an early on-line edition of the International Urogynecology Journal, was the first to consider the medical history of male and female family members as a risk factor for prolapse.


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Contact: Nancy Solomon
solomonn@slu.edu
314-977-8017
Saint Louis University
Source:Eurekalert

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