Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic Organ Prolapse occurs when the female pelvic organs move from their normal position due to weakened muscles and ligaments supporting them. Occurring in women of all ages, it is more common as women age, particularly in those who have delivered large babies or had exceedingly long pushing phases of labor.
Mild prolapse may be discovered during a routine pelvic exam with no symptoms at all. Other women may experience discomfort and a range of symptoms including the following:
- Pain and Pressure- the most common symptoms are a feeling of pressure, bearing down, low back pain, leg fatigue.
- Urinary Symptoms – stress incontinence and difficult in starting to urinate.
- Bowel Symptoms – problems with defecation may occur. Stool can become trapped, causing pain, pressure and constipation.
- Sexual Problems – a prolapse may irritate the vaginal tissues or cause pain during intercourse.
Vaginal prolapses must be treated according to the severity of symptoms. They can be treated with conservative measures such as changes in diet and fitness, Kegel exercises, etc. Treatment may also be with a vaginal pessary, a device inserted into the vagina to provide structural support.
Surgery is used to treat symptoms, such as bowel or urinary problems, pain, or a prolapse sensation.