Patterns of constipation in urogynecology: Clinical importance and pathophysiologic insights

Marco Soligo, Stefano Salvatore, Anton V. Emmanuel, Elena De Ponti, Marco Zoccatelli, Marina Cortese, Rodolfo Milani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We have analyzed the prevalence and patterns of constipation in women with urinary symptoms and/or genital prolapse. Study design: Seven hundred and eighty-six consecutive urogynecologic patients underwent a questionnaire and structured clinical assessment. Comparison between constipated and nonconstipated women was made. Fisher exact test, Wilcoxon rank sum test, and logistic regression were used for statistical analysis (P <.05 for significance). Results: Thirty-two percent of women were constipated (172 difficult stool passage, 13 reduced stool frequency, 64 both). A genital prolapse ≥2 degree Half Way System (HWS) was present in 44% of women. A posterior colpocele was more frequent in constipated women (35% vs 19%; P <.0001), resulting in a risk factor for constipation (OR 2.31; 95% CI 1.63-3.27). By contrast, higher degrees of anterior colpocele appeared to protect against constipation (OR 0.80; 95% CI 0.66-0.96). No differences in prevalence of constipation were observed for urinary symptoms or urodynamic diagnosis. Conclusion: Bowel dysfunction correlates exclusively with posterior aspects of the pelvic floor support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-55
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Colpocele
  • Constipation
  • Genital prolapse
  • Incontinence
  • Urogynecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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