What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse? Know The Causes, Symptoms, Treatment!

Women face so many problems during their pregnancies and menopausal age. From heavy menstruation bleeding to fibroids, there are a lot of medical conditions that women may suffer in their reproductive age and after menopause. One of those uncomfortable and troublesome conditions is the prolapse of pelvic organs. And the best gynecologists can easily diagnose this problem at the early stages.

In the normal human body, the pelvic organs—the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum—are supported and held in place by a group of muscles and tissues known as the pelvic floor. When these muscles become weak with time, the pelvic organs move downward and bulge out of the vagina.

According to research;

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is considered to be a major cause of morbidity among women in both high-income and low-income countries and The worldwide prevalence of POP has recently been reported to be around 9%.

How does pelvic organ prolapse occur?

The pelvic floor muscles hold the organs in their actual position. these organs include your bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel, and rectum. In pelvic organ prolapse, the pelvic floor muscles weaken, causing one or more of the pelvic organs to fall into or out of the vagina.

This causes the following symptoms;

  • Feeling uncomfortable in the vagina
  • Pain in the pelvis, lower back
  • Urine leaking
  • Constipation
  • Painful intercourse
  • Feeling as if something is falling out of your vagina
  • Trouble during bowel movement
  • feeling or seeing a bulge or lump in or coming out of your vagina

What are the different types of pelvic organ prolapse?

The type or name of prolapse is according to the organ that is being involved in prolapse.

  • Cystocele is the condition in which the bladder peeks into the vagina, creating a bulge. It’s the most common form of prolapse
  • Rectocele is when the rectum protrudes into the back wall of the vagina
  • Uterine prolapse involves the bulging of the uterus into the vagina
  • Vaginal vault prolapse is the prolapse of the vagina
  • Enterocele is the small bowel prolapse
  • Urethrocele is the prolapse of the urethra

What are the reasons behind pelvic organ prolapse?

  • Delivering obese babies through the vagina
  • Trauma during vaginal delivery
  • Chronic cough or bronchitis
  • Heavy weightlifting
  • Being obese
  • Lower estrogen levels after menopause
  • Chronic constipation

How does pelvic organ prolapse diagnose?

Your gynecologist can find it while a physical pelvic checkup and for further diagnosis following tests are helpful;

  • Urinary tract X-ray (intravenous pyelography)
  • CT scan of the pelvis
  • Ultrasound of the pelvis
  • MRI scan of the pelvis

What is the treatment of prolapse?

There are several ways to treat prolapse in females, like;

  • Pelvic floor physical therapy like Kegel exercise in which with the help of a physical therapist you strengthen the pelvic muscles through exercise.
  • Use of Pessaries- a device made from silicone and come in many different shapes. To support the prolapsed organs, the pessary is inserted into the vagina to help this condition. It is removable.
  • Surgery is the last option if no other treatment is working for the patient. There are many different types of surgery, based on the location and severity of the prolapse and other health issues. For women who have uterine prolapse, often a hysterectomy (removing the uterus) is the last option.

How to prevent pelvic organ prolapse?

With the help of the following tips, you can prevent pelvic organ prolapse;

  • Reduce your weight if you are overweight
  • Cure your chronic cough
  • Treat your constipation
  • Practice exercises that help in strengthening the pelvic muscles
  • Avoid heavy lifting

With the advancing age, women should always keep a check on their bodies. It is advisable to have a complete pelvic check-up once a year. Pap smear type of tests helps diagnose any type of infection or cancer. Similarly, prolapse can be easily diagnosed at early stages. You can consult the best gynecologist in Karachi through Marham for further details.