Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Our Woman’s Health Physiotherapist Noelia Mendoza gives us an insight into pelvis organ prolapse symptoms and treatment.

The pelvis organ prolapse is defined as an anatomical change where one of the organs (bladder, bowel, rectum or uterus) moves downwards into the vagina causing the symptoms of “something coming down”.  Muscle weakness can cause this anatomical changed and can cause bowel, bladder or sexual symptoms.

This condition can affect to 1 in 3 women who have had child but many women do not seek help until the symptoms are very severe.

Symptoms

  • Heaviness in the lower part of abdomen and vagina
  • Discomfort inside the vagina
  • Feeling of something coming down
  • Difficulties to inserting tampons
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse and obstructed intercourse
  • Difficulties to completely emptying the bladder, urgency to go to the toilet or leakage when you cough, sneeze or exercise stress incontinence

Causes

  • Pregnancy and childbirth – Due to muscle weakness with childbearing and muscle and ligaments strain during normal delivery, forceps delivery or episiotomy.
  • Obesity and overweight – This increases the pressure onto pelvic organs and pelvis.
  • Heavy lifting – Repetitive loading activities increase the intraabdominal pressure pushing organs down.
  • Family history – It can be related to a inherited weaker collagen type. The collagen helps to strengthen ligaments and muscles and heal them better after a strain injury.
  • Age – The older you are the more likely you can suffer with pelvic organ prolapse due to changes in muscle strength and vaginal support.
  • Menopause –With the menopause we can have lower level of vaginal oestrogens which can affect to our muscles.
  • Constipation of repetitive cough – It increases the intraabdominal pressure which can cause strain and stretch of pelvic floor muscles and ligaments.
  • Previous pelvis surgery.

What can you do to help with pelvic organ prolapse?

  • Change your habits; try to lose weight, avoid repetitive heavy lifting…
  • Adopt good bladder and bowel habits, trying to go frequently and do not hold it for a long time.
  • Do PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES!!!
  • And the most important thing…

Seek Medical advice from the GP, GYNAECOLOGIST OR PHYSIOTHERAPIST as you could need hormone treatment, vaginal pessaries or surgery if that your symptoms are severe.