A prolapse is the term used when an organ descends or drops from its normal position. In the case of a Pelvic prolapse, pelvic organs like the bladder drops down from their usual locations. The drop is a result of weakening muscles that keep the pelvic organs in place or excess stretching after giving birth.
Most women face pelvic prolapse at least once in their lifetime. The first sign of a prolapse is shooting pain radiating from the abdomen area. There are cases when prolapse pain subsides with time. It is also common to experience multiple organ prolapses at a time. These organs include the:
• Small bowel
Prolapse: A Brief History
The incidence of prolapse was first documented in 200B.C. The father of medicine Hippocrates formulated many nonsurgical treatments to rectify prolapse. The first reported use of surgery was in 98CE when Soranus described the removal of a blackened uterus.
In 1860, a peasant woman successfully performed a vaginal hysterectomy and cured uterine prolapse. Post 1800s, a scientific approach towards the surgical removal of the pelvic organs has been widely used.
Pelvic Prolapse Types
Different regions of the vagina are affected by specific prolapse types. These include:
• Uterine Prolapse: A condition that is characterized by a significant shift in the uterus. Women who’ve undergone a hysterectomy experience a similar condition called vaginal vault prolapse which is indicative of a protrusion of the upper vagina into the lower region.
• Cystocele and Urethrocele: Urethrocele occurs when the urethra pushes into the frontal vaginal wall. Cystocele is the condition when the bladder presses against the vaginal walls.
• Rectocele: This condition obstructs the bowel movement and is caused when a portion of the rectum swells and puts pressure on the back vaginal walls.
Symptoms of Pelvic Prolapse
A mild case of pelvic prolapse does not present any detectable symptoms. In severe cases, the range of symptoms includes:
• Urinary and Bowel Indicators: There is inconsistency and obstruction while passing urine during uterine prolapse, urethrocele and cystocele. Rectocele makes the process of defecation painful because it creates a pocket over the anal sphincter.
• Sexual Troubles: Most women who suffer from pelvic prolapse experience pain during intercourse which is triggered by the irritated tissues lining the vagina. This also leads to psychological stress.
• Pressure and Pain: The common indicators of pelvic prolapse is lower back pain, fatigue in the legs, pressure build up in the pelvic area and leg fatigue.
Treatment of Pelvic Prolapse
In mild conditions, non-surgical treatments like pessary and kegal exercises are effective. Surgery is usually the last resort to correct severe pelvic prolapse. This involves reconstruction of the pelvic region either through the vagina or the abdomen.
In few cases, a synthetic graft is used for repair and reconstruction. Women who undergo the surgical procedure can resume normal activities within a week. Consult your physician if you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms.
Contact Our Office
Experienced surgeons, Dr. John Miklos and Dr. Robert Moore will happily talk to you about pelvic organ prolapse and the proper course of action you can take to find relief from the condition. Contact our office to get started.