Pelvic prolapse is the gradual moving or “dropping” of a pelvic organ to a lower position in the pelvis. The top of the vagina, the bladder, or the rectum may be the main prolapsed organ. If the uterus has not been removed, it too may prolapse. A careful pelvic exam should reveal which organs have dropped.
If you have a prolapsed organ or organs, you may experience lower back pain, pelvic pressure, loss of bladder or rectal control, or difficulty emptying the bladder or bowels. In severe cases, the vagina or uterine cervix is felt or seen as a bulge outside the body.
Weak supporting pelvic tissues and muscles may allow the pelvic organs to prolapse into the pelvis. Childbirth, chronic cough, and constipation may lead to this pelvic muscle weakness. Prolapse also may occur more commonly within specific families or certain ethnic groups.
Pelvic organ prolapse may not occur quickly, but the condition typically worsens when left untreated. The choice of treatment should be based on the impact of symptoms on your health and activities. In rare cases, severe prolapse can cause urine to be retained in the bladder and the kidneys, leading to kidney damage or infection. In this situation, treatment is necessary. In most other cases, though, you can decide, based on your specific symptoms, when prolapse should be treated.
To meet with an Ob/Gyn who specializes in pelvic organ prolapse, or for more information about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.