Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition in which muscles inside the pelvis become weakened, which leads to sagging of internal organs, such as the bladder.
This change in position can lead to a number of troublesome symptoms that can have an impact on your everyday life. It is a common problem in women who have gone through vaginal births of their children, but can also be a result of aging and other issues.
A closer look at pelvic organ prolapse can help individuals with this problem to understand its symptoms and seek treatment to resolve the condition.
Pelvic organ prolapse is commonly a result of childbirth and labor. However, natural aging, genetic factors, obesity, chronic constipation, chronic coughing from lung problems, as well as certain neurological diseases, can also cause pelvic organ prolapse. If you have had pelvis surgery in the past, you are at higher risk for developing pelvic prolapse issues. Individuals who engage in heavy lifting as part of their work tasks may also be at higher risk for this condition.
Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse can vary depending on the severity of the problem. Symptoms can also worsen over time. Generally, individuals may feel pressure in the vagina from sagging organs, fullness in the lower abdomen, a pulling sensation in the groin or lower back, vaginal pain during intercourse, vaginal bleeding, constipation, or urinary incontinence. Individuals may also feel a frequent urge to urinate or may get up to go to the bathroom frequently during the night. Standing, lifting, or strenuous workouts like jumping can make symptoms worse.
Prolapse of one of the pelvic organs, such as the bladder, can also lead to problems with another of the organs, such as the ureters or intestines. Physicians will order a number of diagnostic tests to determine the extent of the weakness. Medications can sometimes help with pelvic organ prolapse.
Women who have experience menopause with weakened muscle tone from lowered levels of estrogen often experience prolapse. Treating these women with estrogen can help the prolapse problem. However, not all women should take estrogen for these issues.
Physical therapy with Kegel exercises, which strengthen muscles of the pelvic floor, can alleviate some prolapse problems. Biofeedback devices that use sensors can help improve muscle tone and prolapse symptoms.
A pessary is a silicone device that comes in a number of shapes and sizes that is inserted into the vagina to support internal organs. Surgery is also available to tighten ligaments within the pelvic cavity to support internal organs. In some cases, a synthetic mesh material is used as a sling to support organs.
Pelvic organ prolapse can be an embarrassing problem that individuals are reluctant to mention to their doctors. However, a number of effective treatments are available to help these conditions. These treatments can provide full relief from symptoms and will allow you to conduct your everyday activities more comfortably and without worry.