What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the muscles that hold the internal pelvic organs in their correct position become weakened or stretched, often during childbirth or surgery. This allows organs to drop or prolapse into the vagina. It could be the uterus, bowel or bladder. Many women will experience some kind of pelvic organ prolapse within their lifetime. For some women, pelvic organ prolapse can be uncomfortable or painful, for others this problem gets better over time naturally.
Some of the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include:
- A sensation of heaviness or pulling in your pelvis which is worse when coughing or sneezing, or after standing for a long duration of time.
- Tissue protruding from your vagina.
- Urinary problems, such as urine leakage or urine retention.
- Trouble having a bowel movement- such as incomplete evacuation and constipation
- Low back pain.
- Feeling as if you’re sitting on a small ball or as if something is falling out of your vagina.
- Sexual concerns, such as sensing looseness in the tone of your vaginal tissue.
- Symptoms that are less bothersome in the morning and worsen as the day goes on.
However, there are many pelvic floor exercises that can help reduce the likelihood of pelvic floor weakness. Depending on the severity of your symptoms pelvic floor exercises, otherwise known as kegels, can help make your pelvic muscles stronger. Staying at a healthy weight and avoiding heavy lifting that puts additional stress on your pelvic muscles can also help reduce the likelihood and severity of your symptoms. There are also non-invasive treatments available such as; The Neotonous Chair (Magnetic Chair); an effective, painless and non-invasive method for treating urinary/ faecal incontinence utilising Extracorporeal a Magnetic Innervation (ExMI) technology.
For those that do not respond to conservative treatment such as Kegel exercises and suffer urinary incontinence, surgical procedures offer a permanent solution. There are surgical options for both stress (involuntary secretion) and urge (overactive bladder) incontinence, but no surgery treats both simultaneously. These procedures will be done laparoscopically with a single incision, which is minimally invasive and an optimal means of operating inside the patient with minimum scarring.
If you believe you may be experiencing pelvic organ prolapse or urge incontinence the best course of action is to book a consultation with your gynaecologist. To discuss the treatments available, that can meet your individual health needs, please give our friendly team a call on (08) 8819 0414.