Pelvic organ prolapse is a scary sounding name. It occurs when the pelvic organs and tissues that support the pelvic organs—uterus, bladder, vagina, small bowel, or rectum—become weak or loose. Let’s review the 7 signs you may have pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
Pelvic Organ Disorders
There are several types of pelvic organ disorders. A woman’s pelvic floor is like a hammock holding up all the pelvic organs in place. These include the uterus, bladder, rectum, vagina, small bowel, and rectum.
A pelvic organ disorder can include the following three conditions:
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Urine incontinence
- Fecal incontinence
Prolapse means the organs have fallen out of place in the pelvis, and most commonly, the weakened tissues cause the uterus to drop into the vagina. Sometimes it comes out through the vagina. Other organs can fall out of place as well.
Risk Factors For Pelvic Organ Prolapse
If you have any of the following risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse, pay attention. If you have given birth with a vaginal delivery, are Hispanic or white, are experiencing menopause, are overweight, and smoke, these are the most common risk factors for POP.
There are not always symptoms with pelvic organ prolapse, but these signs might indicate the condition:
- Urine leakage
- Inability to empty your bladder
- Feeling of fullness in your pelvis
- A bulging in the vagina or a feeling like something is falling out of the vagina
- Lower back pain
- Aching or pressure in the lower abdomen or pelvis
Of course, some of these symptoms can be caused by other conditions, but taken together and if you have any combination of the risk factors mentioned above, see Dr. Apostolis for an evaluation in Akron, OH.
Some Pelvic Organ Prolapse Myths Debunked
Myth #1: You should wait to be treated for POP if you are a young woman, and if you are older, why bother, just live with it.
Truth: Wrong and wrong! Every woman deserves to have a life without POP symptoms no matter their age.
Myth #2: You won’t get POP if you are strong and athletic.
Truth: Anyone can develop the condition, especially weight lifters and those that run marathons.
Myth #3: You have POP only if you have a bulge or something coming out of your vagina.
Truth: Re-read the signs mentioned above that can be symptoms of POP. Any of these can indicate the condition.
Request a Prolapse Treatment Consultation
Most importantly, don’t be embarrassed to discuss your symptoms with board-certified urogynecologist, Dr. Costas Apostolis. Get the facts, and ask about treatment options.