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5 Symptoms That Could Mean You Are Suffering from Pelvic Prolapse

5 Symptoms That Could Mean You Are Suffering from Pelvic Prolapse

Your pelvis, situated below your abdomen and just above your legs, holds the urinary bladder, bowels, reproductive organs, and genitals as well as your urethra and anus. 

To keep these organs and tissues in place, you have pelvic floor muscles. These stretch from the pelvic bone to your coccyx (at the base of your spine) and work with your abdominal and back muscles and diaphragm to support your spine and control abdominal pressure.

When your pelvic floor muscles become loose or weak, they can cause a number of problems, including pelvic organ prolapse. This is the term for what happens when organs or tissues in your pelvis bulge or protrude through your vagina. 

It’s a fairly common condition, affecting half of women over 50 to some degree. And while it can be embarrassing to deal with, it is treatable. 

At offices in Wellesley and Hudson, Massachusetts, Dr. Neeraj Kohli and the team at BostonUrogyn offer specialized treatment in urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery for treating pelvic prolapse and many other conditions.

Here, Dr. Kohli discusses pelvic prolapse and a handful of symptoms that may indicate you’re suffering from pelvic prolapse.

Causes of pelvic prolapse

There are three kinds of pelvic prolapse: 

A common cause of prolapse is vaginal childbirth, which can stretch and weaken the pelvic floor muscles. Other potential causes include long-term abdominal pressure — obesity, chronic coughing or straining during bowel movements — and hormonal changes during menopause. 

Your risk also increases with age as well as a family history of pelvic prolapse.

Pelvic prolapse symptoms to look for

Initially you may not experience any symptoms, but over time look for these five signs:

Bulging

A visible lump in your vagina may be a sign you’re experiencing prolapse, which may be accompanied by a heavy or dragging sensation.

Pelvic pressure

Pelvic pressure, discomfort, aching, and even lower back pain can indicate pelvic prolapse. As the day progresses, the discomfort may worsen and coughing or standing can exacerbate it.

Incontinence

Problems with urinating or defecating can result if a prolapse causes your organs and tissue to put pressure on your bladder and bowels. 

Recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Repeated UTIs can mean a lot of things, but pelvic prolapse is one possible explanation.

Sexual problems

Pelvic prolapse can directly affect sensation during sex, as well as difficulty with penetration, depending on the severity of the prolapse.

Treating pelvic prolapse

There are many treatment options to address the different severities of prolapse. 

Nonsurgical options include a pessary (a removable device inserted in the vagina for pelvic support), pelvic floor muscle exercises, and a change of eating habits to address bowel problems possibly connected with the problem. 

Surgical options for treatment depend on what kind of prolapse you’re dealing with, and could include using body tissue to build pelvic support, repairing and correcting the fallen tissue or organs, and repairing the vaginal wall.

Pelvic prolapse can be an uncomfortable thing to discuss, but when you’re ready, we’re here to help. If you’re dealing with symptoms that may indicate pelvic prolapse, make an appointment with Dr. Kohli and BostonUrogyn today. 

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