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