Pelvic Organ Prolapse Treatment Questions and Answers
At Women’s Healthcare of Illinois, our board-certified obstetrician-gynecologists (OBGYN) would be pleased to evaluate your symptoms and provide you with high-quality treatment if you are dealing with pelvic organ prolapse. Contact Women’s Healthcare of Illinois. We have 2 convenient locations in Illinois to serve you.
While pelvic organ prolapse likely sounds worse than it is, it is still a significant concern that you should seek medical attention for, as it can negatively impact your quality of life if it is left untreated.
What is Pelvic Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when one or more of the organs in the pelvic region, such as the bladder, uterus, bowel, or cervix, descend or drop down into or outside of the anus or vaginal canal. Depending on the specific pelvic organ that prolapses, you may hear different names used to describe the type of prolapse that occurs. With that in mind, the types of pelvic organ prolapses are as follows:
- Cystocele: prolapse of the bladder into the vagina, also known as anterior prolapse
- Enterocele: prolapse of the small bowel, also known as posterior wall prolapse
- Rectocele: prolapse of the rectum
- Urethrocele: prolapse of the urethra
- Uterine prolapse: prolapse of the uterus
- Vaginal vault prolapse: prolapse of part of the vagina
The cause of pelvic organ prolapse is typically an increased pressure on the abdomen. With that in mind, the most common cause of pelvic organ prolapse is pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. Some of the other causes of pelvic organ prolapse include the following:
- Chronic constipation or respiratory issues
- Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus)
- Occupation the requires frequent heavy lifting
- Pelvic organ cancers
While some cases of pelvic organ prolapse occur without any symptoms, you may experience any of the following symptoms if you are dealing with pelvic organ prolapse:
- Bulge or lump inside or exiting your vagina
- Dragging discomfort inside your vagina
- Heavy feeling in your lower abdomen and genital area
- Problems with urination, including feeling as though you cannot completely empty your bladder, needing to urinate with more frequency, or experiencing stress incontinence
- Sensation that something is descending into your vagina
How do you treat a pelvic prolapse?
The treatment for a pelvic organ prolapse depends on the severity of the patient’s symptoms and can involve several different therapies. With that in mind, some of the possible treatments for a pelvic organ prolapse include the following:
- Pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
- Surgical repair or removal of the affected tissue or organ
- Urethral sling for stress incontinence due to pelvic organ prolapse
- Vaginal pessaries, which are soft, removable devices placed into the vagina to support affected areas
At Women’s Healthcare of Illinois, we also provide InterStim® treatment, which is a type of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) designed to improve the symptoms of pelvic floor disorders, including pelvic organ prolapse and urinary or fecal incontinence.
How common is pelvic prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse is a significantly common condition to deal with, as approximately one-third of women experience pelvic prolapse to some degree in their lifetime.
What happens if prolapse is left untreated?
If pelvic prolapse is left untreated, it will most likely worsen with increasing discomfort and pain experienced. While prolapse is generally not life-threatening, it can significantly impact a person’s quality of life if it is left untreated.
If you would like more information about pelvic organ prolapse treatment or would like to schedule an appointment with us at Women’s Healthcare of Illinois, we would be pleased to hear from you! We invite you to make an appointment with us through our website or by calling us. We have two clinics located in Mokena and Evergreen Park, Illinois.
We serve patients from Evergreen Park IL, Mokena IL, Oak Lawn IL, Chicago Ridge IL, Hickory Hills IL, Bridgeview IL, and Bedford Park IL.
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