Why Pelvic Organ Prolapse Happens and What You Can Do About It

Why Pelvic Organ Prolapse Happens and What You Can Do About It

Pelvic organ prolapse is a surprisingly common problem among women, occurring when one or more pelvic organs descend or drop into the vaginal canal. While it can happen at nearly any age, it’s much more common among older women.

Rafael J. Perez, MD, FACOG, and our team at the Center for Urogynecology and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery help patients with pelvic organ prolapse find relief for symptoms while preventing the underlying problem from getting worse. 

Here, learn why prolapse happens and what we can do to help.

Understanding pelvic organ prolapse

Your pelvic organs include your uterus, rectum, bladder, and intestines. All of these organs are supported and held in place by a supportive network of muscles and ligaments.

As you age or if as a result of injury or disease, these muscles and ligaments can weaken, meaning they’re no longer able to provide adequate support to your pelvic organs. As a result, the organs may shift positions, dropping downward into the vaginal canal.

Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse can be very uncomfortable and can include:

In addition to older age, pelvic organ prolapse is more common among women who:

Hysterectomy and some belly injuries also increase your risk of pelvic organ prolapse.

Managing prolapse: Know your treatment options

To some extent, treatment depends on the organs involved — the bladder, rectum, intestines, uterus, or the upper part of the vagina.

In the initial stages of prolapse, we may be able to treat it with lifestyle changes, like weight loss and smoking cessation, combined with exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. 

Pelvic floor physical therapy focuses on exercises aimed at improving muscle tone and strength while relieving excess pressure on pelvic structures.

For women whose primary symptom is incontinence, Dr. Perez may recommend medications to help manage symptoms. Some women benefit from a device called a pessary that’s inserted through the vagina to provide additional support.

For more severe symptoms or for women seeking a more permanent solution, pelvic prolapse surgery can be a good option. During surgery, Dr. Perez applies a supportive mesh to the area, giving the organs extra support.

Find relief for prolapse symptoms

Pelvic organ prolapse doesn’t go away on its own. It requires active management that sometimes includes surgery to relieve symptoms and prevent them from getting worse — and fortunately, we offer those solutions.

To learn how we can help you manage your pelvic prolapse symptoms and improve your overall health and wellness, call 305-240-6047 to request an appointment with Dr. Perez and our team at the Center for Urogynecology and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery in South Miami, Florida.

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