Pelvic floor organ prolapse is a condition where the bladder, uterus, or bowel are poorly supported and droop down into the vagina. This is due to a loss of integrity and weakness of the pelvic floor. Abdominal surgery (hysterectomy, c-section), estrogen deficiency and obesity can all lead to pelvic floor organ prolapse. Repeated muscle straining that occurs during childbirth, with chronic constipation or chronic coughing, and heavy lifting can exacerbate the problem.
There are many ways to conservatively manage a pelvic organ prolapse. The first step is to diagnose the problem so the correct treatment strategy for you can be implemented.
The most common forms of pelvic floor organ prolapse are listed below:
Uterine Prolapse: Herniation of the uterus into the vagina.
Cystocele: Fall of the bladder into the vagina. This can lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder and urinary leakage.
Enterocele: Herniation of the small intestine between the rectum and vagina.
Rectocele: Herniation of rectal tissue into the vagina. Symptoms may include constipation and pelvic pain.
Pelvic floor organ prolapse may be prevented and managed with correct body mechanics during coughing or lifting, controlling constipation and avoidance of straining, weight control, and pelvic floor muscle strengthening. Sometimes, a physician may prescribe a pessary. This is a device which holds the pelvic organs up and can be used with pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises to re-educate the muscles.