Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse is a common pelvic disorder among women. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and tissues that hold the female pelvic organs in place, including the bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel, and rectum.
Pelvic organ prolapse is when one or more of the pelvic organs descend or drop from where they should be causing other pelvic disorders including urinary incontinence or causing pain and discomfort.
Increased pressure on the abdomen, pregnancy and delivery, as well as constipation, obesity, pelvic organ cancers, and hysterectomy can be causes of pelvic organ prolapse.
Common Types of Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Bladder Prolapse: Cystocele occurs when the bladder, which stores urine, slips down and pushes against the front of the vagina.
Rectum Prolapse: Rectocele occurs when the rectum bulges into the back of the vagina.
Small Bowel Prolapse: Enterocele occurs when the small intestine drops down between the back of the vagina and the rectum. This may occur at the same time as prolapse of the uterus or rectum.
Urethra Prolapse: Urethrocele occurs when the urethra, which transports urine from the bladder and out of the body, slips and pushes against the lower part of the front of the vagina.
Uterus Prolapse: Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus (womb) drops down into the vagina.
Vaginal Vault Prolapse: Vault prolapse occurs when the upper portion of the vagina loses its normal shape and sags or drops down into the vaginal canal or outside of the vagina. It may occur alone or along with prolapse of the bladder (cystocele), urethra (urethrocele), rectum (rectocele), or small bowel (enterocele).
Signs of Pelvic Organ Prolapse
How do you know if you have organ prolapse?
Mild pelvic organ prolapse may give you the sensation that you’re dragging or have pressure in the pelvic area, especially when standing for long periods of time.
More severe symptoms may include:
- Discomfort or pain in your lower pelvis or during intercourse
- Bladder control issues
- Difficulty urinating
- Leaking urine during everyday activities that put pressure on your abdomen (also known as stress urinary incontinence)
- Constipation or bowel issues
- Back pain
- A lump in your vagina
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
Surgical Treatments For Pelvic Organ Prolapse
The Gabrielson Clinic for Women offers the following surgical procedures to treat pelvic organ prolapse. Depending on the type of surgery and best approach, we may perform these through abdominal incisions, with a laparoscope, or vaginally.
- Anterior Pelvic Floor Repair with or without Mesh
- Posterior Pelvic Floor Repair with or without Mesh
- Sacrospinous Suspension
- Uterosacral Suspension