C-POP Study

CPOP Study logoA joint research collaboration, led by Dr Laura Jones, aims to explore the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a study comparing the effectiveness of colpocleisis with sacrospinous fixation in women with pelvic organ prolapse (the C-POP study). 

The C-POP Study is now looking for people with experience of apical prolapse (an apical prolapse is where the womb can bulge or hang down into the vagina) who have had, or are eligible for either colpocleisis or sacrospinous fixation to join the C-POP Patient Advisory Group. The role of the advisory group is to work together with the C-POP team throughout the study to ensure the research is relevant, informed and acceptable to participants.  

If you are interested in joining the Patient Advisory Group you can complete this form. If you would like to find out more, please contact the C-POP study team at cpopstudy@contacts.bham.ac.uk, ring 07717 444813 or take a look at the 'Get involved' section on this page. 

Half of all women will experience pelvic organ prolapse in their lifetime. When severe prolapse related problems arise, a woman’s reproductive organs, for example, the womb or cervix, can bulge or hang down into the vagina. This is known as apical pelvic organ prolapse.

There are currently two types of surgery available to repair these severe types of apical pelvic organ prolapse.

  • Colpocleisis involves pushing the prolapse back inside the pelvis and closing the top of the vagina. This is the simpler of the two surgeries but will affect a woman’s ability to have vaginal intercourse.
  • A more complex surgery, sacrospinous fixation, avoids this problem around vaginal intercourse by stitching the top of the vagina to a ligament in the pelvis.

There is currently no evidence to indicate which surgery is the better option.

Dr Laura JonesDr Laura Jones

Research Group Lead

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Study description

Study Aim:

To explore the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a study comparing the effectiveness of colpocleisis with sacrospinous fixation (SSF) in women with AP. This aim will be addressed via 5 objectives and delivered via 4 work packages (WP1-4). 

Work Packages (WP):

WP1: to qualitatively explore the feasibility and acceptability of the interventions and a future effectiveness study with eligible women

WP2: to qualitatively explore the feasibility and acceptability of the interventions and a future effectiveness study with eligible HCPs

WP3: to quantitatively explore potential numbers of women who experience this condition who may be suitable for a future trial

WP4: A national stakeholder event to gather feedback on the findings and to provide recommendations for an effectiveness trial.


  1. To explore the feasibility and acceptability of the interventions and a future effectiveness study with eligible women and HCPs (WP1,2).
  2. To identify and explore the key uncertainties for eligible women and HCPs regarding surgical procedures for AP (WP1,2);
  3. To identify and explore sensitivities and preferences for eligible women and HCPs regarding equipoise for AP treatment options (WP1,2);
  4. To estimate the number of women who will be eligible to participate in a future effectiveness study (WP3);
  5. To develop a programme theory (used to demonstrate how an intervention is expected to lead to its effects and under what conditions) and provide key design recommendations for an effectiveness and cost-effectiveness study comparing colpocleisis and SSF for women with AP (WP4).

Study participants

  • A diverse sample of women diagnosed with apical prolapse (AP), who are able and willing to give informed consent, aged 18 years or over, and who speak English, Polish, Urdu or Punjabi.   
  • Healthcare professionals involved in the care of women with AP (either currently or within the last 5 years) who are working in a UK complex uro-gynaecology centre, aged 18 years or over, speak English and who are able and willing to give informed consent.  
  • Stakeholders including women diagnosed with AP, health and social care professionals, policy makers, health economists, commissioners, representatives from third sector organisations (e.g., charities and advocacy groups) in the UK, willing and able to give informed consent, over the age of 18 years and who speak English.  

Current projects

  • Patient Advisory Group
  • Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement group

Collaborators and partner organisations

Partner organisations

  • Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Hospital Trust
  • University of Exeter
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • LiveUTIFree
  • University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust 
  • Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • University of the West of Scotland

Get involved

Have you had a diagnosis of apical, or pelvic organ prolapse? (Apical prolapse is where the womb, or neck of the vagina bulge or protrude into the vagina). Would you be interested in helping to shape a research study exploring surgical options for treatment?

The C-POP study is aiming to talk to women who are eligible for the two types of surgery for apical prolapse. The study team want to find out about women’s thoughts and experiences around these treatment options and explore if a trial comparing the two options would be feasible in the future.

The team at Birmingham is working with our lay partners including our patient advocates, Public Engagement at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and LiveFreeUTI to recruit and develop a Patient Advisory Group of up to 10 members.

The Patient Advisory Group (PAG) will work alongside the wider study team in several ways. We anticipate members of the PAG may help us check that the documents we send out are clear and understandable to people who want to take part in the study. In addition, the PAG will be invaluable supporting the study team to share what we have found out in non-clinical language that patients everywhere can understand.      

More Information on the Patient Advisory Group

The C-POP study began in May 2023 and will run until Dec 2024. There will be four PAG engagement time points in this time. Online meetings will be held on weekdays and will take place virtually via Microsoft Teams. For people who prefer not to attend online meetings, documents will be posted out for their input and discussions with a patient advocate will take place over the telephone.

You can contact the study team to find out more or have a chat about getting involved: cpopstudy@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call/text on 07717444813

Estimated Patient Advisory Group start date: July 2023

Timeline: July 2023 to September 2024

Approximate time commitment: 16 hours total

Type of engagement: Virtual video call sessions, some reading, telephone discussions.

Number of video call sessions: 4 sessions are anticipated (July 2023, October 2023, April 2024, September 2024)

Payment: Participants will be reimbursed for their time, at the standard rate for Patient and Public Involvement

How can you get involved?

If you are based in the UK and have had pelvic organ prolapse and have been eligible for surgical treatment, whether you had the surgery or not, you may be eligible to participate. If you are interested in learning more about the Patient Advisory Group, please complete this screening questionnaire. Selected participants will be contacted by the team at University of Birmingham so they can provide more information.

Contact us

Lead Research Fellow

Ms El Molloy: e.molloy@bham.ac.uk;
Twitter: @el_mo1331

Research Group Lead

Dr Laura Jones: l.l.jones@bham.ac.uk;
Twitter: @drlauraljones

Study team

Twitter: @cpopstudy