Uterine prolapse is when the uterus slips down from its normal position and bulges into the vagina. Similarly, other pelvic organs, including the bowel, bladder, or the apex of the vagina, can also experience prolapse. While pelvic organ prolapse is not life-threatening, it can lead to significant pain and discomfort for affected individuals.
There are four primary types of prolapse:
Anterior prolapse: This occurs when the bladder protrudes into the front wall of the vagina.
Uterine prolapse: It happens when the uterus sags or hangs down into the vaginal canal.
Vaginal vault prolapse: This condition typically occurs after a hysterectomy, where the top of the vagina sags down.
Posterior wall prolapse: This refers to the forward bulging of the bowel into the back wall of the vagina.
Each type of prolapse can cause discomfort and may require medical attention.
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-Feeling heavy around lower tummy and genitals
-A lump coming out of the vagina
-Discomfort during sex
-Stress incontinence (leaking a small amount of pee while coughing or sneezing)
It mainly happens due to the weakening of pelvic floor muscle which supports the pelvic organs. The following incidents can weaken your pelvic floor and increase the chances of prolapse:
-Giving birth to a large baby or multiple babies
-Ageing and going through menopause
-Long-term constipation or long-term cough or strain
-Doing heavy-lifting jobs
A mild prolapse can be treated by making some lifestyle changes:
-Avoiding heavy-lifting jobs
-Preventing or treating constipation
There are several treatments to treat severe pelvic organ prolapse:
-Pelvic floor exercises: By regularly performing pelvic floor exercises, you can strengthen the muscles in your pelvic floor, which may lead to relief from your symptoms.
-Treatment for hormones: Estrogen treatment has the potential to alleviate specific symptoms, such as vaginal dryness or discomfort experienced during sexual intercourse.
-Vaginal pessaries: A device, made of either rubber or silicone, is inserted into the vagina. It provides support to the walls of the vagina pelvic organs.
-Surgery: Surgical repair, vaginal mesh surgery, hysterectomy, closing the vagina are some surgical procedures to treat prolapse.
When non-surgical treatments prove ineffective or when the prolapse is severe, surgery becomes a possible option. Various surgical treatments are available for pelvic organ prolapse, such as:
Surgical repair: This involves restoring the prolapsed organs to their normal position and providing support to the weakened pelvic structures.
Vaginal mesh surgery: Mesh implants may be used to provide additional support to the weakened tissues and structures in the pelvic area.
Hysterectomy: In some cases, removing the uterus (hysterectomy) may be necessary to address uterine prolapse or other related issues.
Vaginal closure: In certain situations, the vaginal opening may need to be closed surgically to correct prolapse and provide support.