The idea of your pelvic organs dropping lower, so low that they may even drop out of your vagina, can be more than a little unnerving. The condition where your bladder, uterus, and rectum droop due to weakened pelvic muscles is called pelvic organ prolapse.
Occurring in about one-third of all women, pelvic organ prolapse has various causes, including childbearing, hysterectomy, and post-menopausal changes.
But there are also solutions, and the medical practitioners at The Center for Women’s Health in Newport News and Hampton, Virginia, can offer you the best options to solve your pelvic organ prolapse and other women’s health conditions.
What happens in a pelvic organ prolapse?
This troubling female condition occurs when the pelvic floor muscles and related tissues weaken to the point that they’re unable to support the lower abdominal organs, or pelvic organs.
These muscles can become weakened by the stresses of childbirth (especially more than one vaginal birth), hormonal changes, obesity, prolonged constipation, or previous surgery.
The pelvic organs that can prolapse include:
- Small bowel
The different types of prolapse are characterized by the location of the dropped organs. For example, the most common type of prolapse is when the bladder droops into the vagina. Pelvic organs sometimes prolapse into the rectum. More than one organ can prolapse at a time.
What are the signs of pelvic organ prolapse?
Different forms of prolapse present with similar symptoms, so it’s important to learn the most common signs.
- Achiness in your vagina
- Feeling of fullness in your vagina
- A sensation something is falling out of your vagina
- Low backache
- Pain during intercourse
- Uncomfortable pressure on your vagina
- Urgency to urinate
- Urine leakage
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
If you detect any of these symptoms, especially if several are present, schedule an appointment as soon as possible with one of the experts at The Center for Women’s Health.
What are the treatments for pelvic organ prolapse?
Your provider at The Center for Women’s Health begins by taking a medical history and performing a pelvic exam. They also typically recommend diagnostic imaging tests to obtain a more detailed view of your pelvic area.
Treatments for pelvic organ prolapse depend on the type and severity, your age and general health, and other factors. You may benefit from lifestyle changes, like eating more high-fiber foods and practicing Kegel exercises to strengthen and tighten the pelvic floor muscles.
They may also recommend a removable pessary device that’s worn inside the vagina to support the organs while the pelvic muscles become stronger. This is a temporary measure your practitioner may suggest with other treatments.
If necessary, the specialists at The Center for Women’s Health may recommend surgical treatments to add support to the pelvic muscles.
Contact The Center for Women’s Health to schedule an exam and consultation if you suspect pelvic organ prolapse or some other women’s health problem.