How to use the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification (POP-Q) system?

Chendrimada Madhu*, Steven Swift, Sophie Moloney-Geany, Marcus J. Drake

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To set out the basic description of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) using the International Continence Society/International Urogynecology Association Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification (POP-Q) system. Methods: The basic approach to use of the POP-Q was identified and summarized. Results: Six defined points in the vagina are identified; points Aa and Ba for the anterior vagina, Ap and Bp for the posterior vagina, and C and D for the cervix/vault. Point D is not used in women who previously had a hysterectomy. The patient is asked to strain, ideally when in the standing position, to elicit the POP to its maximum extent. The location of the defined points is then gauged relative to the hymenal ring and recorded on a grid. Three additional measurements are taken to achieve a full description; the genital hiatus length, perineal body length, and total vaginal length. Staging a POP relies on identifying the lowest extent of any part of the six defined points; if any point reaches close to the hymenal ring (at least stage 2), the prolapse is usually symptomatic. Conclusions: The POP-Q system is readily cataloged and offers detailed description of considerable benefit in clinical practice and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S39-S43
Number of pages5
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue numberS6
Early online date15 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Supplement: Fundamental Assessment of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research


  • Pelvic organ prolapse quantification. POP-Q
  • Prolapse assessment


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