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Are You Experiencing A Feeling Of Heaviness Or A Pulling Sensation In Your Pelvic Area?
You may have moderate or severe uterine prolapse.
In addition, you may experience:
- Vaginal bleeding or increased discharge
- Some tissue protruding from your vagina
- Urine retention or urine leak
- A feeling like you are sitting on a small ball
- Problems with sexual intercourse
Uterine prolapse happens once the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments overstretch and lose strength, supplying insufficient support to the uterus. As a result, the uterus slips into or protrudes out of the vagina.
Uterine prolapse can occur to women of any age, but it frequently affects post-menopausal women who have had one or more vaginal deliveries.
The weakening of the pelvic muscles that results in uterine prolapse can be due to:
- Supportive tissue damage during pregnancy and childbirth
- Decrease estrogen production
- Prolonged straining
- Delivery of a large baby
- Trauma during childbirth
- Difficult labor and delivery
Should you have a mild uterine prolapse, medical intervention is not needed however, if this condition makes you uncomfortable as well as interrupts with your normal life, you might take advantage of treatment.
A number of factors can increase your risk of uterine prolapse:
- Increasing age
- Repeated heavy lifting
- Delivering a big baby
- One or several pregnancies and vaginal births
- Chronic coughing
- Pelvic surgery
- Straining excessively during bowel movements
- Genetic predisposition to weakness in the connective tissue
Certain disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic constipation and obesity, can exert a continuous amount of stress on the muscles and connective tissue in your pelvis and are likely involved in the development of uterine prolapse.
Potential complications of uterine prolapse include:
- Ulcers. When the uterus falls into the vagina, as what happens in a severe uterine prolapse, it pushes a portion of vaginal lining outside the vagina and which can rub on underwear. The friction created can lead to vaginal sores or ulcers which can be infected.
- Prolapse of other pelvic organs. If you have uterine prolapse, chances of having prolapse of other pelvic organs are high. A prolapse of the bladder (cystocele) bulges into the front part of the vagina and urethra and can impede the flow of urine leading to difficulty in urination and increases the risk of urinary tract infections. The weakness of connective tissue overlying the rectum may lead to a prolapsed rectum (rectocele) resulting in difficulty in having bowel movements.
When to See A Doctor
Uterine prolapse may not need treatment unless it’s severe. If your signs and symptoms become annoying and interrupt with your normal activities, Take the first step and contact us through our no-cost virtual consultation. During this process, we will recommend options that will work best for you. Every client is different, so our virtual consultants and surgeons tailor the procedure to match each person’s needs.
Medical Exams to Diagnose Uterine Prolapse
- Pelvic exam. In this exam, your physician will ask that you exert downward pressure as if having a bowel movement, which will help your physician evaluate how far the uterus has fallen into your vagina. To test the strength of your pelvic muscles, your physician will ask you to tighten them, just like your stopping the flow of urine. You will be examined while lying down and standing up.
- List of questions. Your doctor may ask you to fill up a form that can help him assess how uterine prolapse is impacting your quality of life. This info is a helpful guide while making treatment choices.
- Imaging tests, like ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are not usually necessary but may be helpful in evaluating the degree of prolapse.
In the event that you have mild uterine prolapse, especially if symptoms don’t trouble you, you most likely need not bother with treatment. On the other hand, your pelvic floor may keep on losing tone and become weak, making uterine prolapse more severe over time. A regular check-up with your physician will help monitor the extent of your prolapse and review your symptoms.
Basic pelvic floor strengthening exercises called Kegels will help relieve symptoms. Maintaining an ideal weight and avoiding lifting heavy objects will put less stress on your pelvic floor muscles.
If you are diagnosed with an advanced stage of uterine prolapse, treatment is necessary and options include:
- Vaginal pessary – is a custom-made device that is inserted inside your vagina to support the uterus in place. You can remove and clean the device and reinsert it. Other pessaries can be left in place for a much longer cleaning interval.
However, this device can be of little help for an advanced stage of uterine prolapse. This device can potentially irritate tissues in the vagina to the point of creating ulcers on the tissues. In addition, it can interfere with sexual intercourse.
- Surgery – is done to restore a weakened or damaged pelvic floor. This procedure can be performed through the vagina or the abdomen. The surgeon repairs the pelvic floor structures using graft tissue, donor tissue or synthetic material.
The goal of the surgery is to strengthen the pelvic floor so it can support the uterus and other pelvic organs. If the surgeon thinks that the pelvic floor cannot be repaired to its full potential function, he may recommend a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus).
The type and method of treatment your doctor suggests is influenced by your individual needs and situation. Be sure to discuss the benefits and risks of each treatment with your doctor.
If you are planning to get pregnant in the future, you are not a good candidate for surgery to repair uterine prolapse. Pregnancy and delivering a baby will place too much pressure on the pelvic floor and can undo the benefits of the repair. In addition, women with major health problems expose themselves to greater risks. In these cases, pessary use is often the best treatment of choice for uncomfortable symptoms.
Contact us now through our no-cost virtual consultation. During this process, we will recommend options that will work best for you. Every client is different, so our virtual consultants and surgeons tailor the procedure to match each person’s needs.