Skip to main content
Back to news homepage

RCOG/BSUG joint statement on draft NICE guidance on urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse

News 9 October 2018

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today published draft guidance on the management of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

It recommends that the full range of non-surgical options should be offered to women with these conditions before any surgical operations. These include lifestyle interventions, physical therapies, behavioural therapies and medicines for stress urinary incontinence. Non-surgical options for pelvic organ prolapse include lifestyle modification, topical oestrogen, pelvic floor muscle training and pessary management.

In the cases where it is agreed to use surgical mesh/tape, women must be fully informed of the risks and should be offered a follow up appointment within six months following surgery. The draft guideline also recommends how complications associated with surgical mesh/tape surgery should be assessed and managed.

Any complication should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and details should be collected in a national registry.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and The British Society of Urogynaecology (BSUG) said:

“The RCOG and BSUG welcome NICE’s updated draft guidance on the management of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

“We particularly welcome the emphasis on providing women with the support and information they need about all treatment options. This is to ensure they can make informed decisions about the best treatment for their individual circumstances.

“It is very important that women explore the range of non-surgical treatments, such as lifestyle interventions, physical therapies and medications, before considering surgical treatments. It is also crucial that women who need surgical procedures for these often distressing and debilitating conditions have access to these treatments.

“The RCOG and BSUG are dedicated to ensuring the safety of non-surgical and surgical treatments for women. We remain committed to working with others to meet the conditions set out by the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review.”


Note to Editors

For media enquiries, please contact the RCOG press office on 020 7045 6773 or email

A period of high vigilance restriction regarding vaginal mesh is currently in place in England and Scotland. Read the College’s safety alert for more information.

The RCOG mesh webpage brings together a number of resources to help women and healthcare professionals about the use of mesh. For more information, please visit the website.

The RCOG and BSUG are working on a shared decision tool to ensure women are fully informed and explore their non-surgical and surgical treatment options for the management of stress urinary incontinence.

The RCOG’s information for women on vaginal prolapse is currently being updated and will include a section on the range of non-surgical and surgical treatments for women.