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Pelvic Organ Prolapse

(one or more organs in the pelvis slip down from their normal position)

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the muscles and ligaments which normally suspend a women’s pelvic organs weaken over time, can no longer adequately lift the organ weight, and allows for sagging of the organs into the vagina. While sagging of the bladder is the most commonly seen form, the uterus, rectum, bowel, or vaginal wall may also be involved.

Pelvic organ prolapse symptoms may include:

  • Noticeable bulge or lump at the vaginal opening called a prolapse which may interfere with tampon insertion or sexual activity
  • Sensation of pelvic or low back pressure, discomfort, fullness
  • Vaginal dryness or irritation from clothing
  • Pain during sexual activity
  • Symptom exacerbation by standing, coughing, and physical or sexual exertion
  • Constipation or urinary difficulties including leakage or increased frequency or urgency

Risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse include:

  • Childbirth
  • Post-hysterectomy or other pelvic surgeries
  • Post-menopause
  • Obesity

Diagnosing pelvic organ prolapse:

Diagnosis is often made with an initial visit with a simple history and physical examination, but sometimes various imaging techniques are used as well.

Treatment Options

Treatment for Pelvic Organ Prolapse (one or more organs in the pelvis slip down from their normal position) in Women

  • Pelvic floor physical therapy may strengthen the weakened supporting muscles to decrease symptoms and incontinence
  • Pessary use which involves the insertion of a small plastic specially sized support into the vagina to decrease symptoms and incontinence
  • Pelvic prolapse surgery to provide additional support for the sagging structures

Urological Conditions & Treatments

Urological Cancers & Treatments