Do You Have An Increased Risk Of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Health & Medical Blog

Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that causes one of the organs in your pelvic region to drop down and push against the walls of your vagina. Most often, the organ is the bladder, but it could be the urethra, the rectum, the small bowel, or the uterus. Pelvic organ prolapse is not uncommon, but it's not always a severe case and can sometimes improve without treatment over time. It's important for you to know what increases your risk of pelvic organ prolapse so you can work with your doctor to better your situation.

Risks for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Most commonly, pelvic organ prolapse results from the pressure and stretching that occurs during childbirth. You are especially at risk from prolapse due to childbirth if you deliver a large baby or have a long and difficult labor and delivery.

Additional factors that can increase the risk of pelvic organ prolapse are:

  • Chronic constipation causes the bowel to increase the pressure against the vaginal wall.
  • Chronic coughing from lung problems or smoking increases the pressure in the abdominal and pelvic area.
  • Nervous system diseases such as muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis.
  • Genetics can play a role in the problem for women who have women in their family that have had pelvic organ prolapse or weak pelvic supportive tissue.
  • Regular heavy lifting, often due to your occupation, increases the pressure and puts you at risk as well.
  • Pelvic surgery, most often a hysterectomy, can damage the support for one of your pelvic organs and cause those organs to move around and sometimes prolapse.
  • Obesity can lead to problems because increased weight causes more pressure in the abdomen.

Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

It is possible that you can have pelvic organ prolapse without any symptoms, but most sufferers do notice at least some feelings of pressure on their vaginas.

Some other symptoms that you may notice are:

  • Pelvic pressure
  • A stretching or pulling sensation in your groin
  • Having the feeling something is fall out of your vagina
  • Lower backache
  • Urinary troubles
  • Painful intercourse
  • Constipation or needing support to have a bowel movement

You may notice that any of the symptoms are worse when you jump, lift, or stand. Most sufferers can get some relief when they lay down, so that could also help diagnose the problem.

If you have any of these risk factors or notice any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about pelvic prolapse to reach a diagnosis and create a treatment plan. For more information, make an appointment with an expert like those at the Western Branch Center for Women.


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