Understanding Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

About one-third of women struggle with pelvic organ prolapse at some point in their life. The condition can be painful, uncomfortable, and inhibiting. However, pelvic prolapse doesn’t always get worse. With a Las Vegas pelvic prolapse treatment, you may make a full recovery.

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse mostly manifests years after childbirth, after menopause or after a hysterectomy. It is triggered by the weakening of your pelvic floor.

Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles and ligaments that support your pelvic organs. When these muscles weaken, your bladder, vagina, uterus, small bowel, or rectum can drop lower in your pelvis and push against the walls of your vagina.

Causes of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Lower levels of the hormone estrogen have been linked with pelvic prolapse. This is because a reduction in estrogen leads to low levels of collagen, which is the protein that helps your tissues maintain a normal position.

Your estrogen levels are likely to reduce during and after menopause.

Vaginal childbirth is known to stretch and weaken your pelvis and may also lead to pelvic organ prolapse. The risk for mothers who undergo cesarean section is highly reduced.

Other common risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse include:

Spinal cord injuries and conditions like muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis, they may lead to muscle paralysis on the pelvic floor.

Obesity, the extra weight exerts long-term pressure on your abdomen.

Smoking or respiratory disorders, they may result in chronic coughing.

Hysterectomy, or surgical removal of the uterus.

 Genetics, connective tissues may be weaker in some women than others.

Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Many women do not experience symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse. But, for those who do, the most common complaint is minor discomfort caused by pressing of organs against the vaginal wall. You may also experience problems in how your pelvic organs work.

The major symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse are:

A feeling of pelvic fullness or pressure

Urinary problems, such as incontinence or an increase in the frequency of urination, mostly at night.

A sensation of something falling out of your vagina

Low backache or a pulling or stretching sensation in the groin area

Painful intercourse

Spotting or bleeding from the vagina

Problems with bowel movements

Your symptoms depend on the organ that has descended. They may intensify when you stand, jump, or lift something, and usually get better when you lie down.

Diagnosis of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

A routine pelvic exam may uncover pelvic organ prolapse, after which your doctor may order various tests to confirm the diagnosis. The most common tests done are a urinary tract X-ray and a pelvis CT scan or MRI.

Treatment of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Your treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms you have. Your doctor may recommend behavioral treatments like doing Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles in your pelvic floor.

You may also need mechanical treatments like the insertion of a plastic pessary into your vagina to support the drooping organs

In severe cases, you may require surgical treatment to either repair or remove the organ or tissue.

Final Thoughts

You can recover from pelvic organ prolapse by getting treatment and making a few lifestyle adjustments. Exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid smoking.

If the pain in your pelvic becomes unbearable enough to affect your daily schedule, book a consultation with Darin Swainston, MD, FACOG.