What is Pelvic Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when one or more of your pelvic organs, like your bladder, uterus, or rectum, drop in your pelvis and press against the walls of your vagina. This can happen when childbirth, surgery, or menopause weaken the pelvic muscles that hold your organs in place.
Organs that may prolapse include:
- Small Bowel
Symptoms vary depending on the organ that has prolapsed. They can include:
- Feeling like something is “falling out”
- Pressure on the vaginal wall
- Incontinence or difficulty urinating
- Lower back pressure and/or pain
- Pain during intercourse
Diagnosis is based on the symptoms you present with. Patients with a bladder prolapse will often have difficulty emptying the bladder completely. In the case of rectal prolapse, patients will often describe difficulty evacuating their bowel movements, and they will often have chronic constipation. A careful examination will be done to determine the exact source of the prolapse.
Pelvic organ prolapse is managed with symptom control, pessaries, and surgery.
If your symptoms are mild, you may be able to manage it with exercises like Kegels, losing weight if you are overweight, and avoiding lifting heavy weights or other activities that put a strain on your pelvic organs.
If your symptoms are more severe, we may recommend a pessary. This is a prosthetic device inserted into the vagina to reduce the protrusion of pelvic structures into the vagina (click here for more info).
Surgery is another treatment option. There are different kinds of surgery depending on the nature of your prolapse. These might include surgery:
- To repair the tissue around the prolapsed organ
- To repair the tissue around the vagina
- To remove the uterus (hysterectomy)
We will discuss all your options with you.