Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is a common problem that is often detected when women notice a bulge from the vagina when they wash or wipe after using the bathroom, or as they go about daily activities.

What is prolapse?

Prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles can no longer hold up the bladder, vagina, uterus and rectum, and they can “fall” outside the body. There can be weakness in just one area, such as just the bladder, or more.

While prolapse usually isn’t painful, it can be very uncomfortable and can cause a feeling of pressure, which interferes with daily life. 

Causes of prolapse

Anyone can experience prolapse; however, genetics and risk factors may make a woman more prone to this condition, such as:

  • Women who had vaginal or forceps deliveries
  • A family history of prolapse
  • Obesity
  • Chronic constipation

Treating prolapse

The first place to start is with your primary care physician or OB-GYN.  There are many treatment options, including the following:

  • Therapy: Woman’s offers specialized physical therapy to help strengthen the muscles that support the vagina, bladder and rectum.
  • Vaginal Support: A pessary (vaginal insert) can be used to support the organs that have dropped. A pessary is not permanent and has to be removed periodically either by the patient or her doctor to be washed and then put back in. However, it can be used for years, and many women find this to be an excellent long-term solution.
  • Surgery: There are many ways to surgically fix prolapse, but it depends upon the factors unique to your body and condition. Discuss options first with your OB-GYN, urologist or urogynecologist.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Symptoms and Treatment