J Med Assoc Thai 2003; 86 (6):509

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Integrated Health Research Program for the Thai Elderly : Prevalence of Genital Prolapse and Effectiveness of Pelvic Floor Exercise to Prevent Worsening of Genital Prolapse in Elderly Women
PiyaAnant M Mail, Therasakvichya S , Leelaphatanadit C , Techatrisak K

SUW ANIT THERASAKVICHYA, MD*,
KITIRA T TECHATRISAK, MD*
Background : Genital prolapse is a common health problem in elderly women. It is prevalent
among elderly females and affects their quality of life. Those with a severe degree of genital prolapse
may need operative treatment which may be risky due to co-morbid conditions such as hypertension,
respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. The aim of this study was to deter-
mine the prevalence of genital prolapse and the effectiveness of pelvic floor exercise to prevent worsen-
ing of genital prolapse in elderly females.
Method : The authors conducted a cross sectional study to determine the prevalence of genital
prolapse in 682 elderly women (aged
~
60 years) who lived within a 10-kilometer radius of Siriraj
Hospital. 654 subjects were eligible for the controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of pelvic floor
exercise to prevent worsening of genital prolapse. There were 324 subjects in the control group and 330
subjects in the experimental group. The experimental group received training in pelvic floor exercise
and were asked to perform the exercise 30 times after one meal, every day for 24 months. The subjects
were followed-up every 6 months for 24 months to assess worsening of genital prolapse.
Results : The prevalence of genital prolapse was 70 per cent. There were 324 subjects in the
control group and 330 subjects in the experimental group. After 24 months of pelvic floor exercise,
the rate of worsening of genital prolapse was 72.2 per cent in the control group and 27.3 per cent in the
experimental group (p
=
0.005). The rate of worsening of genital prolapse was not significantly diffe-
rent between the control group and the study group in those who had a mild degree of genital prolapse.
Conclusion : The prevalence of genital prolapse in elderly Thai women was 70 per cent. A
24 months pelvic floor exercise program was effective to prevent worsening of genital prolapse in the
women who had severe genital prolapse.
Key word : The Elderly, Genital Prolapse, Pelvic Floor Exercise

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