Experiencing pelvic organ prolapse can be challenging — it can interfere with your activities, intrude on your personal life, and be just plain uncomfortable.
Pelvic organ prolapse (or POP) is a condition in which one or more organs in the pelvis descend due to a loss of support from the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel, and bowel. They are often described as being shaped like a hammock.
Normally these muscles and surrounding tissues keep the pelvic organs in place. Sometimes they can become too weak or stretched to continue supporting your pelvic organs. Organ shifting that happens because of these weak muscles can result in one or more types of prolapse.
To better understand the different types of prolapses, it is important to understand which organs have shifted as well as in which space of the pelvic floor became weak which results in different types of prolapes.
Cystocele Prolapse: Occurs when the bladder protrudes into the vagina due to the anterior (front) vaginal wall becoming weak.
Rectocele Prolapse: Occurs when the rectum protrudes into the vagina due to the weakening of the supporting tissue.
Enterocele Prolapse: Occurs when the small intestines protrudes into the vagina due to the weakening of the support tissue.
Vaginal vault prolapse: Occurs when the top part of the vaginal wall loses support and drops into the vagina.
Uterine prolapse: Occurs when the top part of the vaginal wall loses support and the uterus drops into the vagina.
Pelvic organ prolapse is common. Over 3 million women in the United States suffer from Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP).1
There are certain risk factors however which may increase your likelihood of experiencing prolapse, including:
Women experiencing prolapse won’t always experience obvious symptoms. As prolapse progresses, the symptoms may become more apparent and painful. If you are experiencing prolapse, you may feel:
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, you may have prolapse and should consult with your doctor. Remember, although these signs and symptoms can alert you to a problem, they are not unique to prolapse, so it is important to consult a doctor for the correct diagnosis.
Find Frequently Asked Questions about pelvic organ prolapse on FemalePelvicSolutions.com.
1) http://www.pelvicorganprolapsesupport.org/pelvic-organ-prolapse-help-and-hope/ Downloaded 10.17.
3) https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/vaginal-prolapse#1 Downloaded 10.17.