November 29, 2019
Have you ever had the feeling that something is “falling out” – in
places where it should not feel that way? If so, you may have a pelvic
organ prolapse (POP). When the muscles of the pelvic floor and the
connective tissue that surround it are weak and cannot give support to
the organs that lie above them, they will drop down. This is referred to
as a pelvic organ prolapse.
The pelvic organs include the uterus, bladder and rectum. Without support, any one of these can start to drop down.
The main causes
of a pelvic organ prolapse are pregnancy and vaginal childbirth, which
can weaken muscles of the pelvic floor. Other causes include menopause,
aging and repeated heavy lifting. There are also physical conditions
that can create pressure on the abdomen which can cause a pelvic organ
prolapse, such as obesity, constipation, physical straining during bowel
movements and chronic coughing, which can be brought on by smoking,
asthma or other medical conditions. A pelvic organ prolapse can occur at
any age, but most women who develop symptoms do so after menopause.
a pelvic organ prolapse is mild, you may not notice anything at all.
Sometimes, a bulge can be felt inside the vagina. For severe cases of a
pelvic organ prolapse, organs may push out of the vaginal opening. Here
are some of the specific symptoms of a pelvic organ prolapse:
Surgery is not usually the first course of treatment for a
pelvic organ prolapse. Here are some things that can be tried before
physicians recommend a pessary, which is a device that is inserted into
the vagina to support the pelvic organs. Many women find immediate
relief from their symptoms with pessary use. Pessaries are available in
many shapes and sizes. They can be used for short-term or long-term
treatment. Pessary choice is based on a woman’s symptoms and the type of
else fails, surgery may relieve some symptoms. In general, there are two
types of surgery: surgery to repair the pelvic floor; and surgery to
shorten, narrow or close off the vagina.
It is always recommended
that you meet with your primary care physician, urologist or
gynecologist, whenever you have any questions or concerns regarding any