Did you know up to 50% of women will have signs or symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse over their lifetime? Many women will not seek care. Here are some FAQs:
What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
It is the protrusion or descent of pelvic organs (uterus, bladder, bowel) into the vagina. This is caused by weakness of pelvic floor muscles and ligaments.
Why and how do women get Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
There are many risk factors that contribute to Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Age (increase over the age of 50), menopause, previous pregnancies, previous vaginal deliveries, Gynaecologic surgery (like prior hysterectomy), increased weight, chronic pressure (like constipation)
What are the symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
- Bulge or lump in the vagina
- Feeling of Heaviness, worse with activity
- Urinary Symptoms: difficulty emptying, slow stream, frequency, incontinence
- Bowel Symptoms, like difficulty emptying bowel
- Painful sex
What are the treatments for Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic Organ Prolapse is not a life threatening disease or disorder, but it can be life altering. There are women who have no symptoms or are not particularly bothered by their symptoms and no treatment is warranted.
For those women who are bothered by their symptoms there are a number of options:
- Pelvic Floor Excercises
- “Kegels” / Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
- Pessary (vaginal insert to help support the prolapse)
- Surgery (the type of surgery will depend on the degree of symptoms and what organs
What do you do if you think you may have Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
See your family doctor or primary health care provider. You may need a referral to a Gynaecologist or a subspecialist, such as a Urogynaecologist. Or, if you are experiencing symptoms, but are not interested in a medical intervention, you can self-refer to a pelvic floor physiotherapist in your community.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse is not life threatening but it is life altering for many women. For those women who are suffering, know you are not alone and there is help!!! ❤️