Prolapse will occur when structures which are designed to keep certain organs in place weaken; it is a very common condition in women and there can be many reasons why this happens with common ones being childbirth and gravity. Once the damage has been done then it is hard to undo but a prolapse and symptoms can range in severity from mild to very serious so it is important to be aware of the symptoms and act upon them.
What are the symptoms of prolapse?
Whatever the causes of the prolapse symptoms are almost identical and while some women can experience very few symptoms others can have very debilitating ones. Some of the more common symptoms of prolapse are:
- Intense pain in the lower back region.
- A dragging feeling in the region.
- Stress incontinence, this is usually when you sneeze or cough you might leak a little.
- Pain when having sex.
Common types of prolapse
Prolapse of the womb
The pelvic floor muscles and supporting ligaments hold the womb in place, if these muscles start to weaken as they can do after pregnancy then the womb can drop down into the vagina. Prolapse of the womb is very common after women have gone through menopause when the support of muscles can become weakened due to the drop in oestrogen levels.
The biggest risk of vaginal prolapse is after having an hysterectomy, this is usually due to the vagina becoming weakened during vagina surgery.
Prolapse of the bladder
With the bladder sitting directly on top of the vagina if there is weakness at the top of the vagina then sometimes the bladder can drop and bulge into the vagina.
Prolapse of the urethra
This type of prolapse is very similar to the prolapse of the bladder, the only difference being it is only the urethra tube that leads from the bladder that drops down.
Prolapse of the rectum
This usually occurs if the lower part of the vagina becomes weak; when this happens the rectum can then bulge into the vagina.
What treatment is there for prolapse?
As there are so many different types of prolapse treatment will of course vary, however many of the treatments do rely on strengthening the ligaments and tendons in the pelvic area. Many treatments of prolapse also rely on toning the uterus and other organs in that area.