During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond, BostonUrogyn is Determined To Be There for You. We are now offering HIPAA-compliant Telemedicine Consultations, as well as Office Visits.

What You Should Know About Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is a type of a hernia that can be uncomfortable and rather awkward to manage since it often causes urinary issues, such as unexpected leakage of your urine when you laugh or a cough (stress urinary incontinence).

In fact, if your doctor has diagnosed you with urinary incontinence, it may be a signal that you’re experiencing pelvic organ prolapse. About a third of all women face problems with pelvic organ prolapse at some point in their life.

Dr. Kohli is a well-respected and nationally known urogynecologist and pelvic reconstructive specialist who has extensive experience and skill in diagnosing and treating pelvic organ prolapse.

He understands the frustration women experience with this condition and is happy to explain a few details about pelvic organ prolapse and the available treatment options.

What is pelvic organ prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when one or more of your pelvic organs drop from their normal position in your pelvic cavity. Situated in your lower abdomen, the pelvic cavity houses your reproductive organs, parts of your urinary system, your small intestines, and pelvic colon.

What causes pelvic organ prolapse?

Normally, a group of muscles and other strong, fibrous tissues located at the bottom of your pelvis act as a sling or hammock to hold your pelvic organs in place. We call this the pelvic floor. When these muscles and other supportive tissues weaken, your pelvic organs can “prolapse” or fall out of place and into your vagina. Your urinary bladder, for instance, may drop into your vagina and create a bulge (cystocele).   

These muscles weaken for a variety of reasons, including:

Menopause and the natural effects of aging may also play a role in pelvic organ prolapse. Estrogen helps maintain the health and strength of your vaginal muscles, and your ovaries stop producing estrogen at the time of menopause.

What are the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse?

Your symptoms often depend on the organ affected by the prolapse. When your urinary bladder prolapses, for instance, it may cause stress urinary incontinence or leakage of urine when you laugh, cough, or run. It can also create the urge to urinate frequently or the sensation that your bladder isn’t empty after you urinate. Bladder prolapse is the most common type of pelvic organ prolapse.

Other symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include:

How do you treat pelvic organ prolapse?

If your symptoms and prolapse are mild, we often start with conservative treatment such as Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These are the same exercises women are encouraged to perform regularly following childbirth.

Sometimes we recommend you try a small device (pessary) that are inserted into your vagina to provide support for the drooping organs. Pessaries are typically made of silicone and are custom-fitted to your shape. They’re also easily removed should you desire.

Often, the most effective treatment for pelvic organ prolapse is surgery. The type of surgery, again, depends on the organ or organs affected. A prolapsed uterus, for instance, may require a hysterectomy. A prolapsed bladder can often be repaired, and the weakened muscles strengthened, via an incision in the vaginal wall.

Regardless of which organs are affected or the severity of your prolapse symptoms, Dr. Kohli can help. You don’t have to live with pelvic organ prolapse or the discomfort it causes. Schedule your visit today.  

You Might Also Enjoy...

Treatable Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain

Your pelvis is the lowest part of your abdomen and is responsible for numerous bodily functions. Pain there can happen for a variety of reasons, but you don’t need to live with it. Let's look at some causes of pelvic pain and how we treat them.

Axonics for Your Bladder and Bowel: What to Expect

The sudden urge to urinate associated with an overactive bladder can be embarrassing and disruptive to your quality of life. Many patients also experience fecal urgency and accidental bowel leakage. Read on to find out how Axonics® Therapy can help.

Nutrition Tips to Help Manage Fecal Incontinence

Fecal incontinence can dramatically affect your quality of life, so treating it is important to allow you to do the things you enjoy. The food you eat can play a role in managing or even preventing this condition. Read on to find out more.

It Shouldn’t Hurt When You Have Sex

Sex is a fundamental part of our lives, but experiencing pain while having sex shouldn’t be. If you’re a woman, read on to find out how you can avoid or treat painful intercourse.

6 Telltale Signs of a UTI

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common, and you can get them for a variety of reasons. Getting a UTI treated quickly means knowing the signs, so let’s find out what to look for.

What the Pressure in Your Rectum Could Mean

Proper digestion is vital to your health. Any problems you have with getting food through your body could be trouble. Rectal problems in particular can indicate serious issues, and you should know what they could mean.