Getting older, being overweight, and having a condition that involves frequent coughing (which increases pressure in the abdomen and pelvis) make a woman vulnerable to pelvic prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse is a serious condition affecting women who are aging or are overweight.
A pelvic organ prolapse is generally discovered after a vaginal examination is performed. The physician will usually insert a speculum (a plastic or metal instrument used to separate the walls of the vagina to show or reach the cervix) into the vagina to see exactly which organ(s) is prolapsing.
Pelvic Prolapse Symptoms
Pelvic organ prolapse symptoms include a feeling of heaviness around your lower tummy and genitals. A dragging discomfort inside your vagina or the feeling like something is coming down into your vagina – it may feel like sitting on a small ball.
The most common symptom of pelvic organ prolapse includes a backache low in the back in addition to painful intercourse; there also may be a feeling that something is falling out of the vagina, and finally, there may be urinary problems such as leaking of urine or a chronic urge to urinate.
- Stage I – the uterus is in the upper half of the vagina.
- Stage II – the uterus has descended nearly to the opening of the vagina.
- Stage III – the uterus protrudes out of the vagina.
- Stage IV – the uterus is completely out of the vagina.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Treatment
You might be able to relieve some symptoms on your own without surgery. You can do exercises at home that make your pelvic muscles stronger. If you choose, your doctor can fit you with a device called a pessary. A pessary can help you cope with pelvic organ prolapse.
If the prolapse is left untreated, over time, it may stay the same or slowly worsen over time. In rare cases, severe prolapse can obstruct the kidneys or urinary retention (inability to pass urine). This may lead to kidney damage or infection.
There are other remedies for POP other than surgery. The lifestyle and home remedies for prolapse include the following:
- Perform Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles and support the weakened fascia.
- Avoid constipation by eating high-fiber foods and drinking plenty of fluids.
- Avoid bearing down to move your bowels.
- Avoid heavy lifting.
- Control coughing.
- Lose weight if you’re overweight or obese
- Transvaginal mesh *may result in the need to speak with a vaginal mesh attorney.
Prolapsed organs cannot heal themselves, and most worsen over time.