What is pelvic organ prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a disorder in which one of the organs in the pelvic floor falls out of its normal position. The female pelvic floor consists of the bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel, and rectum. All of these organs are supported by muscles, ligaments, and fibers that attach to the bony anatomy of the pelvis.
The type of prolapse you may experience is based on the organ that prolapses.
- Cystocele is a prolapse of the bladder into the vagina and is the most common
- Enterocele is a prolapse of the small bowel
- Rectocele is a prolapse of the rectum
- Uterine prolapse is a prolapse of the uterus
- Vaginal vault prolapse is a prolapse of the vagina
What are the symptoms?
If most common signs and symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include:
- Urinary incontinence or retention (cystocele)
- Feelings of pressure or fullness in the pelvic area
- A feeling that something is falling out of the vagina
- Painful intercourse
- Lower backaches and pains (uterine prolapse)
- Spotting or bleeding from the vagina
- Constipation or using manual pressure to help evacuate stool from the rectum (rectocele)
What are the causes?
POP can result from anything that puts increased pressure within the abdomen. This may include:
- Pregnancy and labor
- Respiratory problems with a chronic, long-term cough
- Chronic constipation
Genetics can also play a role in pelvic organ prolapse. You may be at risk if your connective tissues are weaker than average.
How is POP treated?
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with pelvic organ prolapse, schedule an appointment at Central Texas UroGyn in Austin. Our providers will identify the problem and create a treatment plan. While advanced pelvic surgery is often one course of action, we also provide pelvic floor physical therapy and pelvic muscle rehab to manage your condition.