Pelvic Prolapse Treatment Near Kendall, FL
Gynecology Specialists at South Florida Women’s Care
Pelvic prolapse occurs when an organ in your pelvis drops and pushes against the walls of your vagina due to tissues that hold the organs becoming weak or stretched. It is believed that 50% of women are affected by pelvic organ prolapse to some degree. The organs that can be involved in pelvic prolapse include the bladder, urethra, uterus, vagina, small bowel and rectum. Although pelvic organ prolapse is a common disorder among women caused mainly by childbirth and menopause, it is not widely discussed due to embarrassment.
Women will often keep early symptoms of this condition to themselves, hiding their discomfort from everyone including their physician. In spite of this lack of widespread information, you should become aware of the stages of pelvic organ prolapse so that you can better understand what treatment options will be most successful for you.
What are the Causes of Pelvic Prolapse?
More often than not, pelvic prolapse is linked to strain during childbirth. However, there are other common causes of prolapse, including:
- Pregnancy – Pregnancy puts pressure on the abdomen and uterus.
- Menopause – Estrogen levels, which help pelvic connective tissues stretch, drop during menopause
- Surgery – Pelvic prolapse can occur after the surgical removal of the uterus because the other organs could potentially be left with less support
- Obesity – Leads to pressure in the abdomen
- Genetics – People with a family history of pelvic prolapse are more likely to experience it.
Symptoms of Pelvic Prolapse
People often think the main symptom of pelvic prolapse is pain. However, there are many symptoms associated with prolapse, such as:
- Pressure from the pelvic organs pressing against the vaginal wall
- Feeling of fullness in your lower belly
- A pull in your groin
- Vaginal pain during intercourse
- Constipation and pain during bowel movements
Stages of Pelvic Organ Prolapse
A case of pelvic organ prolapse will be assigned a level of severity based on how far advanced it has become. The stages of pelvic organ prolapse are divided into 4 stages with 1 having relatively no symptoms to stage 4 as very severe
Pelvic floor exercises can help with stages 1 or 2, along with medications, and Pessaries to hold the organs in place. The worst case (stage 4) is when organs like the uterus push through the vaginal wall and can be completely outside the body.
South Florida Women’s Care can determine the stage of a patient’s pelvic organ prolapse by doing a simple pelvic exam.
Depending on the diagnosed stage the doctor may recommend to simply observe for a period of time, suggest a conservative surgery, or in a case where multiple organs are out of place a more aggressive surgical repair may be required.
What You Can Do to Treat Pelvic Organ Prolapse
There are ways to mitigate the symptoms and any further development of pelvic organ prolapse. After childbirth, you should begin to do regular pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles. It is highly recommended to get back to your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) approximately one year after giving birth since this lowers your risk for pelvic organ prolapse.
Losing some weight and quitting smoking are both extremely helpful as they not only contribute to pelvic organ prolapse development, but also to a wide range of other health issues.
Pelvic organ prolapse can present serious implications to your health, so be sure to speak with South Florida Women’s Care at the first sign of any symptoms, and don’t be afraid to speak up during regular doctor’s appointments!
Treating Pelvic Prolapse
While some women are able to reduce pain and pressure with non-surgical treatments such as lifestyle changes, exercises and a removable device, pessary, that is placed into the vagina, other situations require surgery. The choice to get surgery depends on the organs involved and the severity of the pain. Surgical options include:
- Cystocele or Urethrocele – Repair of the bladder
- Hysterectomy – Removal of the uterus
- Rectocele or Enterocele – Repair of the rectum or small bowel
- Vaginal Vault Suspension – Repair of the vaginal wall
- Vaginal Obliteration – Closure of the vagina