A vaginal prolapse, also known as a pelvic organ prolapse, is a condition in which there is a loss of muscle support in the pelvic organs, such as the bladder, rectum, and uterus, due to which they drop into the vagina.
In most cases, a vaginal prolapse happens after a woman has had a vaginal birth or after she has had a hysterectomy (the procedure used to remove the uterus).
What Are The Causes?
One of the main causes of a vaginal prolapse is vaginal birth, in which the baby passes through the mother’s birth canal, or the vagina, in the process weakening the tissues and setting off a process by which the organs can gradually drop down into the vagina.
The other cause of vaginal prolapse is hysterectomy, in which case the uterus is removed and the support it provided to the top part of the vagina also ceases to exist. When this happens, the vagina can gradually drop down. In severe cases, the tissues from the vagina can drop out of the body through the opening in the vagina.
- Discomfort and pain during sexual intercourse
- A feeling of the abdomen being pulled down
- The vagina feels unduly full
- A feeling as if something is dropping out of the vagina
- In severe cases, you may notice a bulge hanging out of the vagina
If you notice any of the above symptoms, it is important to immediately speak to your doctor, as it can easily be treated if action is taken on time. The doctor will do a physical examination of your vagina and your rectum after checking with you about the symptoms you experience.
The treatment options for vaginal prolapse will depend on the severity of the condition.
- In case of mild vaginal prolapse, there is usually no treatment required, and simple lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight and regularly doing exercises, especially pelvic floor exercises and avoiding any strain on the vagina or lower abdomen is all it takes to treat it effectively.
- In case your doctor feels that you do need treatment, here are a few options you may be given.
Medications that help to treat urinary and bowel issues and certain hormonal drugs that will help strengthen the tissues in your vagina.
The weak tissues of the pelvis will be removed through surgery and the same may be replaced with other materials while the uterus may also be removed in some cases.
A pessary can be inserted inside your vagina to provide support and prevent your pelvic organs from falling.
Make sure you speak to your doctor about your lifestyle and how you wish to continue, especially about your sexual life, as certain treatment options could cause pain while having sex.
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