Clearly some degree of prolapse is the norm, especially in a parous population. Women with prolapse beyond the hymenal ring have a significantly increased likelihood of having symptoms. In a general population of women between 20 – 59, the prevalence of prolapse was 31%, whereas only 2% of all women had prolapse that reached the introitus. Some estimations suggest that a degree of prolapse is found in 50% of parous women, and up to 20% of these cases are symptomatic. An estimated 5% of all hysterectomies result in vaginal prolapse.
Apical prolapse is a delayed complication of hysterectomy, and follows vaginal and abdominal hysterectomy in equal numbers: it’s occurrence may be the result of damage to the upper vaginal supports occurring at the time of surgery.