Pelvic Organ Prolapse Condition
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
The condition called Pelvic Organ Prolapse could possibly be referred to as Pelvic Organ “slip”. Prolapse refers to when organs have fallen or “slipped” out of place. There are number of reasons this can occur including multiple vaginal childbirths, surgery to the pelvic floor, hysterectomy, connective tissue disorders and obesity.
Once taboo conversation, this condition has become recognized as a major female health concern. Statistics tell us that by the age of 80 more than 1 in 10 women will have experienced some sort of pelvic prolapse! Other than possible discomfort or pain, Pelvic Organ Prolapse should not interfere with your daily routine and the good news is that it there are treatments available.
What exactly is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are weakened and possibly causes your bladder to drop from it’s normal spot and press up against your vagina. Part of your rectum can also prolapse and press into the vagina as well. Sometimes, a woman’s uterus will drop down into the vagina. Basically, Pelvic Organ Prolapse effects your organs pressing into your vagina.
Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Many don’t even know they have Pelvic Organ Prolapse until it is discovered during a routine health exam. Some of the main symptoms include: pressure and pain in the pelvic area, urinary symptoms causing stress incontinence and difficulty starting to urinate, sexual challenges of experiencing irritated vaginal walls or pain during intercourse and bowel symptoms, which sometime cause stools to become trapped by forming a pocket about the anal sphincter.
If symptoms are mild, then treatment may include weight loss if obese, stopping smoking or avoiding lifting heavy objects. Prolapse does not get worse over time and can often improve. As always, seek the guidance and diagnosis of your physician. Often, non-invasive treatments are used to reduce symptoms.
One popular non-invasive treatment method is the Kegel exercise. Kegel exercises are a series of squeezes or contractions of the two sets of pelvic floor muscles. You simply squeeze both muscles as the same time. These are the same muscles that you use to stop urination mid-stream.
To perform a Kegel, you simply squeeze both muscles as the same time and hold the contraction for about 3-5 seconds. Then rest for about 3-5 seconds and repeat until you’ve mastered 30-40 contractions. Your goal is to work up to 10 second contractions.
Another non-invasive treatment option is a Pessary-which is a device that is similar to a diaphragm that is placed in the vagina to give support to the pelvic area.
Lastly, there are surgical solutions known as pelvic reconstruction. Before you go under the knife, confirm that your surgeon is an expert in pelvic reconstruction. Only your physician can determine if you are a surgical candidate.