Millions of women are dealing with pelvic organ prolapse without treatment. Fortunately, there’s a solution that can improve their symptoms, and even cure this uncomfortable medical condition.
Everything You Need to Know About Pelvic Organ Prolapse
What Is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where the tissues and muscles of the pelvic floor are unable to hold the pelvic organs in place. The pelvic floor tissues and muscles may have stretched or weakened over time or as a result of certain conditions.
What are the pelvic organs? These are organs found in the pelvic region. These include the bladder, urethra, uterus, vagina, small bowel, and rectum.
Pelvic organ prolapse symptoms can be uncomfortable and painful for some women. The discomfort can have a negative effect on one’s quality of life.
What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Here are a few potential causes of pelvic organ prolapse:
- Lifting objects that are too heavy
- Chronic coughing
- Chronic constipation
- Hormonal changes due to menopause
- Pelvic tumor
- Uterine fibroid
- Pelvic surgery
- Spinal cord injuries
- Certain neurological disorders
What Are the Different Types of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
There are five types of pelvic organ prolapse. They are differentiated by the pelvic organs involved, specifically:
- Cystocele – Involves the vagina and the bladder. Here, the vaginal wall weakens and part of the bladder comes out through the vagina.
- Rectocele – Involves the vagina and the rectum. Here, the vaginal wall weakens and part of the rectum comes out through the vagina.
- Enterocele – Involves the small intestines and the vagina. A portion of the small intestines comes out through the vagina.
- Vaginal Vault Prolapse – Involves only the vagina and usually occurs after a hysterectomy. The top vaginal wall collapses or comes out through the vagina.
- Uterine Prolapse – Involves the uterus and the vagina. The uterus slips into the vagina or a portion of the uterus comes out through the vagina.
The most common type of pelvic organ prolapse is cystocele, but you can have several types at the same time. After a few tests, your doctor should be able to identify which type of prolapse you are dealing with.
What Are the Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse symptoms vary from woman to woman. Some women experience uncomfortable and painful symptoms, while others do not.
The symptoms may come in the form of:
- Pressure or a heavy feeling in the pelvis
- Vaginal bleeding
- Pressure or pain in the vagina
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Urinary incontinence
- Fecal incontinence
- Inconsistent or slow urinary stream
- Constant urgency to urinate
- Seeing or feeling a bulge protruding from the vagina
- Inability to defecate without splinting the vagina
These symptoms are usually aggravated by activity and improve when you are well-rested.
It’s important to let your doctor know if you experience any of these symptoms because they generally become worse over time.
On top of that, pelvic organ prolapse share many symptoms with other medical conditions. Your doctor will need to perform certain tests in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and prescribe an appropriate treatment plan.
You don’t have to deal with a pelvic organ prolapse alone. While it may be difficult to talk about personal health issues, it’s important you talk to your doctor about them.
Otherwise, you’ll miss out on treatment that may help you regain normalcy and improve your quality of life.
For assistance in choosing an appropriate treatment plan for your condition, you can make an appointment with Dr. Joseph Banno today by calling our area office at (309) 692-9898.
Have you been experiencing any pelvic organ prolapse symptoms? How have you been managing them? Let us know in the comments section.