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Pelvic organ prolapse can cause significant discomfort and other medical problems, including an increased risk for infections. As a leading gynecology practice in Greenacres, FL, also serving Lake Worth, FL and all of Palm Beach County, Elite GYN Care of the Palm Beaches offers state-of-the-art treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse to help women enjoy optimal health.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
What is pelvic organ prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that occurs when the supportive structures in the pelvic area become weak, enabling one or more organs to drop into the vagina. There are five primary types of pelvic organ prolapse:
- vaginal prolapse, which occurs when the top or upper part of the vagina drops into the lower vagina
- uterine prolapse
- intestinal prolapse (also called enterocele)
- rectal prolapse (or rectocele)
- bladder prolapse (also called cystocele)
In severe cases, the prolapsed organ may protrude from the vaginal opening, causing significant discomfort. Pelvic organ prolapse is more common among women who are older, those who have had multiple pregnancies and vaginal births, women who are obese, and women who have had hysterectomies or some other types of pelvic surgery. Smoking, traumatic injury, long-term use of steroids and chronic constipation can also increase the risk of prolapse.
What symptoms does prolapse cause?
Prolapse can cause different symptoms depending on the severity and the organ that’s involved. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- feelings or pain, irritation or pressure in the vagina
- a noticeable bulge near the vaginal opening
- bladder incontinence, inability to completely empty the bladder or pain when urinating
- chronic constipation
- pain during intercourse
- chronic urinary tract infections
- pain or aching in the pelvic area or the lower back
Symptoms may be mild at first becoming more severe as the condition progresses without treatment.
How is prolapse treated?
Pelvic organ prolapse can cause many painful, chronic symptoms that can take a significant toll on everyday activities and overall health and quality of life. Today, there are several innovative options available for treating pelvic organ prolapse, and the key to achieving the most effective treatment and the fastest relief of symptoms is to have an evaluation as soon as symptoms begin. While some very mild types of prolapse may respond to Kegel exercises designed to strengthen the pelvic muscles or the use of vaginal inserts called pessaries to provide support, most patients require surgery to strengthen, repair and reinforce the supportive structures of the pelvic floor. Most surgeries can be performed using minimally-invasive techniques with very small incisions for faster healing and less discomfort during recovery.
What is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is a common complaint, yet most women rarely discuss it with their doctors because they are embarrassed. There are often several causes of incontinence in the same woman. Risk factors include childbirth, pelvic surgeries including hysterectomy, heavy lifting, aging, obesity and chronic constipation. In the past, the only options for treatment were oral medications with significant side effects or surgery. Pelvic floor physical therapy has been shown to decrease urinary leaking by an average of 70-85%. This non-invasive procedure is done in the privacy of our office with our nurse. A thirty-minute visit over 6-8 weeks has proven to reduce leaking by 80% in most patients! Treatments are covered by most health insurance plans. (I could provide a video or something if you wanted to create a link)