Prolapse

icon of female reproductive organs

Over time, and with multiple vaginal deliveries during childbirth, the muscles and ligaments around your uterus can weaken causing a condition called uterine prolapse. It is a common condition that usually doesn’t go away without treatment. If you are experiencing a sensation of heaviness or pulling in your pelvis, the physicians at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare can help.

What is pelvic prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition in which at least one of the pelvic organs descends or “falls” from its normal position into or outside of the vagina.

Which pelvic organs could be affected?

Any of the following pelvic organs can slip out of place and cause prolapse:

  • Uterus
  • Bladder
  • Small intestine
  • Rectum
  • Top of the vagina

What causes pelvic prolapse?

Numerous events or injuries can cause the connective tissue and pelvic floor muscles to loosen. Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth are the primary cause of pelvic prolapse in women. Carrying and delivering a baby places considerable pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Repeated heavy lifting, excess weight and strained bowel movements can also place enough pressure on the muscles to cause prolapse. The pelvic floor muscles naturally weaken and prolapse as a result of menopause and the aging process as well. 

What are the symptoms of pelvic prolapse?

Pelvic prolapse doesn’t always cause noticeable symptoms. Some women notice that an organ is bulging out of their vagina. Your doctor must perform a pelvic exam to make a pelvic prolapse diagnosis.  Signs that you might have a prolapsed pelvic organ include:

  • Pelvic pressure, heaviness, or fullness
  • Lower back pain
  • Discomfort during sex
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty eliminating all the way
  • Difficulty inserting tampons

How is prolapse treated?

You may be able to try a few strategies to improve your symptoms at home, such as pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) and bladder training. Your doctor can also provide a pessary, a vaginal insert that provides pelvic support.  If more conservative approaches don’t work, you may need surgery to repair your prolapse. Surgeries for pelvic prolapse include:

  • Obliterative surgery: surgery to narrow or close the vagina for women who no longer wish to have sexual intercourse.
  • Reconstructive surgery: operations to repair the pelvic floor and support the prolapsed organ for women who want to restore function.

Expert treatment for pelvic organ prolapse in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

If you’re looking for a physician in Baton Rouge to treat pelvic prolapse, and help from prolapse happening again, schedule an appointment with Louisiana Women’s Healthcare online, through MyOchsner, or by phone (225) 201-2010.