Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is a common condition in women that involves a pelvic organ moving from its normal position to push against the vaginal walls, causing pressure, stretching and pain.

Symptoms of Pelvic Prolapse

Women with pelvic prolapse may experience the following symptoms:

  • Incontinence
  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty with urination
  • Pain during intercourse

Causes of Pelvic Prolapse

This condition is most often caused by the strain placed on the pelvic muscles during childbirth, which commonly stretches or weakens the pelvic muscles. Other factors that put pressure on the pelvis and may lead to pelvic prolapse include:

  • Obesity
  • Chronic cough
  • Frequent constipation
  • Genetic factors

Diagnosis of Pelvic Prolapse

A doctor can usually diagnose pelvic prolapse through a physical and pelvic examination, and review of symptoms and any pregnancy and medical history. In addition, the following tests may be performed:

  • Dynamic MRI
  • Sonogram
  • Fluoroscopy

Treatment of Pelvic Prolapse

Conservative Treatments: Treatment for this condition may vary depending on the location and severity of the prolapsed organ. Patients with mild symptoms can often treat their condition at home through Kegel exercises that strengthen the pelvic muscles. Losing weight can also help. Cases of pelvic prolapse that do not respond to home treatments may require the insertion of a pessary, a small device inserted into the vagina to relieve pain and pressure and hold the organs in place.

Surgical Treatments: More severe cases may benefit from surgery to repair damaged tissue, close the vagina or remove the uterus.

It is important for pelvic prolapse to be thoroughly treated in order to reduce the risk of recurrence. If left untreated, pelvic prolapse can get worse over time.