Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is a leading women’s health issue affecting a significant portion of the population and has been recently coined as a “silent epidemic”. POP leads to a considerable reduction in women’s quality of life and can cause chronic pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, and social/psychological issues. The lifetime risk for having surgery for POP is approximately 11% with 200,000 POP procedures performed each year in USA, with an annual direct cost of over $1000 million. Exact etiology of POP is unclear, but it is understood that POP is multi-factorial in nature. Risk factors for POP include increasing age, obesity, multiple vaginal births, gravidity, history of hysterectomy, smoking, chronic cough conditions, frequent heavy lifting, and some genetic factors. POP results due to loss or damage of structural supports that support the pelvic organs (i.e. rectum, bowel, bladder, etc). Vaginal wall prolapse (anterior and posterior) is the most common presentation. This can result from weakening of the levator ani muscle and other connective tissue structures which not only control the mechanical function, but also help support neurological and anatomical function.
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Biomechanical Characterization of Sheep Vaginal Wall Tissue: A Potential Application in Human Pelvic Floor Disorders
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Patnaik, SS, Weed, B, Borazjani, A, Bertucci, R, Begonia, M, Wang, B, Williams, L, & Liao, J. "Biomechanical Characterization of Sheep Vaginal Wall Tissue: A Potential Application in Human Pelvic Floor Disorders." Proceedings of the ASME 2012 Summer Bioengineering Conference. ASME 2012 Summer Bioengineering Conference, Parts A and B. Fajardo, Puerto Rico, USA. June 20–23, 2012. pp. 1193-1194. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SBC2012-80886
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