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World-first approach to treating pelvic organ prolapse

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Picture: Associate Professor Anna Rosamilia, head of the Pelvic Floor Unit at Monash Health with Sarah Monaghan, who has been affected by pelvic organ prolapse.

Wednesday 28 February 2018 

Monash Health has collaborated with the Hudson Institute of Medical Research on a world-first approach to treating pelvic organ prolapse.

With lab research underway, clinical trials are expected to begin in the next three to five years.

A new bio-construct created by combining stem cells from the lining of a woman’s own uterus will be used to restore quality of life to women with pelvic organ prolapse, and to prevent the condition from occurring in younger women.

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a lifelong, potentially debilitating condition, predominantly caused by the impact of childbirth. It affects an estimated one in four women, and around one in two women aged over 50.

Associate Professor Anna Rosamilia, head of the Pelvic Floor Unit at Monash Health says, "It's exciting to be part of a research team looking at new treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse which use degradable scaffolds and the woman’s own mesenchymal endometrial stem cells. Theoretically this should translate into better healing than currently available options but the technology needs further vigorous testing to establish its place."

It’s hoped this new technique will trick the body or modify its immune response to promote healing rather than scarring, which will help to repair the damage.