Pelvic floor disorders, including pelvic organ prolapse, affects 1 in 3 women in their lifetime. It impacts a group of muscles that keep the bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel and rectum in place.
Though it’s very common, many women are embarrassed to speak with anyone about pelvic organ prolapse. The OB/GYNs at Evanston Regional Hospital are here to provide care to help return you to good health.
About Pelvic Prolapse
Pelvic organs are said to prolapse if they descend into or outside of the vaginal canal or anus. You may hear them referred to in these ways:
- Cystocele: A prolapse of the bladder into the vagina, the most common pelvic condition
- Uterine prolapse: A prolapse of the uterus into the vagina
- Rectocele: A prolapse of the rectum, in which the uterus drops into the vagina
Pelvic prolapse is often caused by childbirth and advancing age, though other reasons can include obesity, a chronic cough, constipation, pelvic organ cancers and hysterectomy.
The most common symptom is an uncomfortable sensation of a bulge in the vagina, which can lead to additional symptoms like pelvic and/or lower back pain or pressure, urinary problems, constipation and painful sex.
Treatments & Therapies
The women’s health team at Evanston Regional Hospital will work closely with you to find the right treatment for your unique needs.
The most common and least invasive treatment for pelvic prolapse is physical therapy. Highly trained physical therapists will create a personalized plan, which may include Kegel exercises—squeezing and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles—to strengthen them and help support pelvic organs.
Your gynecologist might also recommend a pessary, a removable device made of silicone that is created specifically for its user. It is inserted into the vagina and used to support the prolapsed organs.
For more severe cases, we may also suggest surgery. This minimally invasive procedure involves small incisions made in the abdomen to reposition the pelvic organs to their original location. Repeated uterine prolapse can be treated by hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).
Don’t suffer another day with pelvic prolapse. Get the skilled and sensitive care you deserve close to home.
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