Pelvic Organ Prolapse

What Is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Approximately one-in-five U.S. women suffers from a pelvic floor disorder. The most common types of pelvic floor disorders are urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse.

While most women have heard of urinary incontinence, they may not be as familiar with pelvic organ prolapse.

So, what is pelvic organ prolapse?

Continue reading to learn all about pelvic organ prolapse, including risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options.

What Is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse is a pelvic floor disorder that occurs when muscles and connective tissue supporting pelvic organs become weak or damaged. This allows pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus and cervix, vagina, and rectum, to drop or protrude into the vagina.

What Are the Risk Factors for Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

In addition to wondering – What is pelvic organ prolapse? – you may be curious about who’s at risk for the disorder.

Risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse include:

  • Vaginal childbirth
  • Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 8.5 pounds
  • Long-term pressure on your abdomen
  • Hormonal changes that occur during menopause
  • Genetics
  • Aging

What Are the Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse often presents as a feeling of organs pressing into or through the vagina. In some cases, women may be able to feel or see a bulge.

Other symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include:

  • Pressure, discomfort, aching, or fullness in the pelvis
  • Discomfort or pressure during physical activity and/or sex
  • Pelvic pressure that worsens with standing or coughing
  • Urinary incontinence or problems having a bowel movement
  • Difficulty inserting tampons

How Can Pelvic Organ Prolapse be Treated?

There are a variety of treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse.

Non-surgical treatments include pelvic floor muscle therapy and/or a pessary. A pessary is a device that is inserted into the vagina to support pelvic organs. It is removable and can be customized to each individual’s anatomy.

Surgery to support the vagina or uterus and surgery to close the vagina can also be performed to address pelvic organ prolapse.

Learn More About Pelvic Organ Prolapse

For additional information about pelvic organ prolapse, please call our office today to schedule a comprehensive consultation with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Melinda Hall

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