The uterus, bladder, and rectum are all located around the vaginal canal. Because of the way these organs are arranged, it is possible for them to herniate or bulge into the vaginal canal when supportive tissues in the pelvic region become weak. Such bulges are called prolapses.
- Pessary fittings
- Prolapse surgeries
- Sacrospinous ligament vaginal suspension
- Uterosacral ligament vaginal suspension
- Posterior colporrhaphy (rectocele repair)
- Anterior colporrhaphy (cystocele repair)
Prolapse can lead to discomfort and heaviness in the vagina, difficulties using the toilet, or the unwanted leakage of urine, called urinary incontinence. When a prolapse is large, tissue may even be seen hanging outside the vagina.
CAUSES OF PELVIC PROLAPSE
- Childbirth – May injure supportive structures in the pelvis.
- Chronic coughing, chronic constipation, and heavy lifting – May cause straining of the abdominal muscles.
- Menopause - Causes estrogen levels to decrease. This drop in estrogen can cause pelvic tissues to weaken.
- Normal aging
SYMPTOMS OF PELVIC PROLAPSE
- A bulge in your vagina that ranges in size from quite small to very large
- Discomfort or pressure in your pelvis or vagina
- Difficulty having a bowel movement
- Trouble emptying your bladder
- Pain with intercourse
- Lower back pain
- Increased discomfort with long periods of standing
- Improved discomfort with lying down
PROLAPSE TREATMENT OPTIONS
- Avoid constipation and straining during bowel movements.
- Use Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the pelvic organs.
- Use biofeedback therapy to retrain your pelvic muscles.
- Wear a pessary inside the vaginal canal to support the prolapsed tissue.
- Add a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medication or topical cream.
- Surgery can restore your prolapsed pelvic tissues to their normal position.