Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include
  • Pain or pressure in the pelvic area
  • Urinary flow changes or difficulties, including incontinence and recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Bulging in the vaginal area
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty with bowel movements

Pelvic prolapses are further classified by the specific organ that has shifted, the symptoms resulting and the treatment required.

  • Cystocele: When the bladder pushes into the vaginal canal
  • Rectocele: When the rectum bulges into the lower part of the vagina
  • Prolapsed uterus: When loss of ligament support causes the uterus to drop into the vaginal canal
  • Apical prolapse: After hysterectomy, there is a “cuff” at the top of the vagina. This term refers to the protrusion of that cuff as the result of prolapse.
  • Enterocele: When the small intestine protruding around the “cuff.”

Depending upon the type of prolapse and the severity of symptoms, a urologist may recommend one or a combination of treatments, including:

  • Medications
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
  • Medical devices, such as pessaries, which are placed inside the vagina to support weakened areas causing the prolapse
  • Surgery to restore the vagina to its normal shape and function. One of the procedures most commonly used for this intervention is sacrocolpopexy. It may be
    performed through a traditional abdominal incision or with a minimally invasive laparoscopic technique. With either, a specialized hernia mesh is sewn in to support the pelvic organs.
  • Along with intervention—or to keep tissues from weakening further—these lifestyle changes will likely be recommended:
    • Smoking cessation
    • Treatment of conditions that strain the pelvic floor, including constipation
    • Weight loss, if necessary
    • Exercises to strength one’s core and pelvic floor 
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Find a pelvic specialist near

CommonSpirit Health gives you access to some of the most experienced pelvic specialists around Colorado, Utah and western Kansas.