Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Sometimes urinary incontinence can be an indicator of a more serious condition called pelvic organ prolapse. This is when the tissues that normally form a “floor” to support the pelvic organs weaken or break, allowing the cervix, uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra or vagina to shift downward in the body and possibly stop functioning correctly.
Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse vary depending on the organ that is affected, but most often include the inability to completely empty or control the bladder or rectum. Other symptoms may include a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area, lower back pain, spotting or bleeding, or the sensation of something falling from your body. While up to a third of all women will develop some form of pelvic organ prolapse in the course of their lives, some of them never experience any symptoms of this condition.
Causes and Risk Factors
While it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of pelvic organ prolapse, identified risk factors include vaginal delivery, a previous hysterectomy or other pelvic surgery, menopause and heavy lifting.
Some forms of mild prolapse may not require treatment. In other cases, certain exercises may help strengthen the pelvic muscles, or a medical device or minimally invasive surgical treatment may be recommended. Our specialists can diagnose the degree of each patient’s problem and identify the best treatment options.