Pelvic Organ Prolapse
The organs within a woman’s pelvis (uterus, bladder and rectum) are held in place by ligaments and muscles known as the pelvic floor.
If these support structures are weakened by over-stretching or tearing for any reason, the pelvic organs can bulge or prolapse into the vagina.
Sometimes a prolapse may be large enough to be seen or felt outside the vagina.
About half of all women who have had a child have some degree of prolapse, but only one in five women need to seek medical help.
Even after surgery to mend prolapse, one in three women will prolapse again.
Prolapse can also happen in women who have had their womb removed (that is, had a hysterectomy). In a case like this, the top of the vagina (the vault) can prolapse.
Why is this occurring?
- Genetic Predisposition
- Weight gain
- Constipation and Straining
- Repeated heavy lifting
- Childbirth especially traumatic childbirth and repeated vaginal births
- Chronic Cough
- Previous Prolapse Surgery
- Previous Hysterectomy
What are the signs and symptoms?
Women with mild prolapse may have no symptoms or discomfort at all.
Symptoms that may occur are:
- A heavy sensation or dragging in the pelvis or vagina
- You may be able to see or feel a lump or bulge coming from the vagina when you are in the shower or having a bath
- Lower back pain that eases when you lie down.
- Your bladder might not completely empty or your urine stream might be weak
- Urinary tract infections might be reoccurring
- Difficulty emptying your bowel
- Pain or lack of sensation during sex
What can be done to help me?
Evidence shows a correct pelvic floor technique assessed by a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist combined with individualised program pelvic floor program can significantly reduce prolapse symptoms.
On top of this we can also provide expert advice regarding reducing aggravating factors and modifying general exercise programs which is essential in reducing prolapse symptoms.