Pelvic organ prolapse, also called pelvic prolapse, is common — it affects about one-third of all women at some point in their lifetime — but it’s not pleasant. Your pelvic region, which includes your bladder, uterus, rectum, and bowel, is held in place by pelvic muscles and tissues. When these tissues and muscles become loose, your pelvic organs can slip and descend into your vagina.
Symptoms of this awkward condition include back pain, painful intercourse, constipation, pelvic pressure, and urinary incontinence. Your symptoms depend on which organ has dropped. The reason pelvic organ prolapse is so common among women is that the two primary risk factors include childbirth and getting older.
Medical experts aren’t exactly sure what causes pelvic prolapse. Fortunately, there are many treatment options, so this condition doesn’t have to interfere with your daily activities and relationships. Even better, there are simple things you can do to prevent pelvic prolapse. The team at Premier Women’s Care of Southwest Florida has compiled these helpful tips.
Pelvic exercises, also called Kegels, can help treat and prevent pelvic floor issues. This simple exercise can be done anywhere, anytime, without anyone knowing you’re doing it. You simply squeeze your pelvic muscles as if you were trying to prevent urine from coming out. Perform this muscle squeezing several times a day to build a strong pelvic floor.
Being overweight is a significant risk factor for developing pelvic prolapse. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Constipation is a risk factor for developing pelvic organ prolapse. Getting regular exercise can help you get regular in your bowel movements as well as help you maintain a healthy weight.
Eat a healthy, high-fiber diet
Eating a diet rich in healthy foods and high in fiber, as well as drinking plenty of water, can also help you maintain normal bowel function and prevent constipation.
Smoking increases your risk of developing pelvic organ prolapse, as well as other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. If you smoke, quit.
Treatment recommendations depend on the organ that’s prolapsed and the severity of your condition. The least invasive treatment is physical therapy. If physical therapy doesn’t make you more comfortable or reduce your symptoms, minor surgery to place a pessary, which is a plastic device that holds loose organs in place, is an option. In more advanced cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair weak tissue or to remove the dropped organ.
For more information on preventing, diagnosing, and treating pelvic organ prolapse, call Premier Women’s Care for an appointment today. You can also make an appointment online through this website.