Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Over time, the effects of childbirth, straining, genetics and other health issues contribute to the development of bulges in the pelvic floor, called prolapse. Nearly half of all women between the ages of 50-79 have some form of prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the normal support of the vagina is lost resulting in sagging or dropping of the bladder, urethra, cervix and rectum. The bulging will also commonly give women the sensation of pressure or fullness in the pelvis and may cause lower back discomfort.
- Difficult bowel movements, constipation, liquid stools
- Like having a tampon that is about to fall out or a lump outside the vagina
- Lower backache
- Painful intercourse
- Pelvic pressure, pulling/stretching groin pain
- Something bulging or falling out from the vagina
- Urine leakage, frequency, chronic urinary tract infections, difficulty urinating Women with pelvic organ prolapse can experience all, some or none of these symptoms. Each woman's experience depends on the type of prolapse, the severity of the symptoms and the individual herself.
- Health history
- Pelvic exam
Other tests and diagnostics
Your pelvic floor disorder is unique. Many times these disorders occur with some other problem that demands advanced diagnostic techniques to determine the cause. We have an experienced team of health care professionals and state-of-the-art technology to provide the most accurate diagnosis and most effective treatment of your condition. By using diagnostic tests, we can work with you to determine the best course of treatment.
Urodynamic testing is a series of bladder tests that are done in order to observe how your lower urinary tract reacts under certain conditions. It is usually done to see if you have problems with loss of urine or to figure out what type of incontinence you may have.
Cystoscopy is a diagnostic procedure designed to examine your bladder and urethra. Cystoscopy may assist in identifying problems with the urinary tract such as early signs of cancer, infection, strictures (narrowing), obstruction and bleeding.
Ultrasound imaging is a method of obtaining images inside the body through the use of high-frequency sound waves. A probe that emits sound waves is placed on the skin of the abdomen or within the vagina or rectum to obtain images of the pelvis. Ultrasound is a useful way of examining many of the body's internal organs such as the bladder, bowel and uterus.
- Pessaries-A pessary is a small device made of plastic or silicone that is placed inside the vagina to hold the uterus or the walls of the vagina up and inside your body. These are especially useful for women who leak urine during specific activities such as exercise. Several types and sizes of pessaries are available. Identifying the right size and shape for your body makes the device's use easy, comfortable and manageable.
- Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (Kegels) -There are muscles around the vagina that help with pelvic support. It is possible to train and exercise these muscles. Pelvic floor muscle training can be used to stop a prolapse from getting bigger. It is usually more helpful in smaller prolapses.
- Surgery -There are many different types of surgeries to correct pelvic organ prolapse. One out of nine women will undergo surgery to correct a pelvic floor disorder.