Pelvic prolapse is a common condition in women that involves a pelvic organ moving from its normal position to push against the vaginal walls, causing pressure, stretching and pain.
Symptoms of Pelvic Prolapse
Women with pelvic prolapse may experience the following symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Pain during intercourse
Causes of Pelvic Prolapse
Pelvic prolapse is most often caused by the strain placed on the pelvic muscles during childbirth, which commonly stretches or weakens the pelvic muscles. Other factors that put pressure on the pelvis and may lead to pelvic prolapse include:
- Chronic cough
- Frequent constipation
- Tumors in the area
Diagnosis of Pelvic Prolapse
A doctor can usually diagnose pelvic prolapse through a physical and pelvic examination, review of symptoms, and pregnancy and medical history. In addition, the following tests may be performed:
Treatment of Pelvic Prolapse
Treatment for pelvic prolapse may vary depending on the location and severity of the prolapsed organ.
Patients with mild symptoms can often treat their condition at home through Kegel exercises that strengthen the pelvic muscles. In addition, losing weight and cutting back on caffeine can also be used to treat pelvic prolapse.
Cases of pelvic prolapse that do not respond to home treatments may require the insertion of a pessary, a small device inserted into the vagina to relieve pain and pressure and hold the organs in place. More severe cases of pelvic prolapse may benefit from surgery to repair damaged tissue, close the vagina or remove the uterus.
It is important to treat pelvic prolapse thoroughly in order to reduce the risk of recurrence. If left untreated, pelvic prolapse can get worse over time.
- National Institutes of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- U.S. National Library of Medicine