Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) in Nepal

 

POP is one of the most widespread reproductive health problems of women in Nepal. It is general accepted that the prevalence of POP in Nepal is substantial higher than in western countries. Furthermore, studies indicate that POP does not only affect older women, but it is also common among younger women.12

Generally, Nepalese women have three main responsibilities: reproduction and child bearing, household maintenance, and income earning. In rural areas, the women’s work burden is considered to be 12%–22% greater than the men’s, and these women must work hard in order to gain acceptance of their husbands and family.

The magnitude of women’s reproductive health problems in developing countries is enormous.13 Females are discriminated against males from early childhood on, and this discrimination continues into their adult reproductive years and beyond. Studying gynaecological morbidities is challenging since these issues are considered a taboo topic in Nepal, which makes talking about it very difficult.14

Despite this high prevalence of POP and its considerable burden to women, it has not received sufficient priority within care system in Nepal. The lack of health care resources in Nepal and the geographical constraints of the country have a tremendous negative impact on the quality of services on the problem of POP.15 The availability of services, both qualified health workers and medical equipment, is worse in the most rural parts of Nepal because they are hard to reach. Moreover, Nepal is a low-income country and is therefore very much dependent on international donors and programs.

 

The burden for women with POP is in Nepal high and substantial higher compared to high-income countries. As many women develop POP at early ages, they will suffer from this disease for a long period of their life. When disease progresses, symptoms become apparent and burden will increase. Social/ethnic factors like men’s discrimination against women and limited access to proper health care, make the severity of the disease in rural communities extremely concerning.24