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Pelvic Prolapse

What is pelvic organ prolapsed?

Connective tissue forms ligament-like structures as well as an “envelope” around the vaginal walls. This helps to secure the vagina and uterus to the pelvis. As the pelvic floor muscle weakens, this connective tissue gives way, causing the vagina to become displaced. When this happens, the bladder and rectum are also affected. Symptoms of pelvic prolapsed are:

  • Loss of bladder or possibly bowel control
  • Difficulty voiding
  • Urinary frequency
  • Problems with bowel movements
  • Feelings of pelvic or vaginal heaviness, bulging, fullness
  • Recurrent bladder infections
  • Excessive vaginal discharge
  • Discomfort or lack of sensation with intercourse

This diagram shows a cross-section view of female reproductive anatomy, including the organs that are subject to pelvic prolapse.
What are the causes?

Some factors contributing to pelvic prolapsed are:

  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Menopause and estrogen loss
  • Multiple vaginal deliveries
  • Obesity
  • Pelvic trauma
  • Repeated heavy lifting
  • Chronic constipation
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes and connective tissue disorders

Diagnosis

Pelvic Organ Prolapse is diagnosed by a thorough pelvic examination. Your doctor may also order diagnostic tests such as an urodynamic study to evaluate bladder function, or special imaging studies to visually examine the bladder or the rectum.

Treatment

Not all women require treatment. However, depending on the severity of the condition, and the effect on the quality of life, surgery may be chosen as the most definitive treatment. Prior to choosing surgery, patients with milder symptoms may incorporate:

Kegal Exercises By contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscle, the muscle is strengthened. These exercises may help to relieve mild symptoms.

Pessary is a device that is inserted into the vagina to help support the pelvic area. This form of treatment is also for mild symptoms. The patient must learn how to remove, clean and re-insert the device. Otherwise, the help of a healthcare attendant may be required.

Pelvic Reconstruction Surgery may be performed through the vagina, or abdominally, including laparoscopy. During the procedure, the prolapsed organs will be repositioned, and secured in place. A synthetic material may be used to reinforce the organs in the pelvic region.