Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse refers to the lowering or dropping of the uterus, bladder (cystocele), vagina, or rectum (rectocele). Many women who have some degree of pelvic organ prolapse do not even know they have it until it becomes symptomatic, if it ever does. However, if you are reading this page you are likely experiencing disturbing symptoms that interfere with daily self-care activities and your sex life.

Symptoms

- Vaginal bulge and/or pressure felt upon palpation when wiping or sitting
- "Falling out feeling" in pelvis

Causes

The pelvic floor muscles are designed to support the reproductive organs and bladder. When the muscles are unable to do this due to inflammation, irritation, weakness, spasm, or trauma, it predisposes the organs to lower. Ligamentous laxity and genetics are other factors that can contribute to prolapse.

Diagnosis

Your physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation to assess your symptoms. Being the evaluation will be internal and external, you and your therapist will work together to ensure your comfort throughout the entire process. If your therapist feels you may need further examination or testing, she will refer you to an MD.

Treatment

Treatment will depend heavily on the reason for your pelvic organ prolapse. For example, if the prolapse occurred due to weakness of the muscles your treatment will consist of strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles, core, and surrounding musculature. In all cases, your physical therapist will educate you on simple lifestyle changes, such as how to avoid constipation, that may aide you in your rehabilitation process.

Pelvic organ prolapse

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