Women who suffer from pelvic-organ prolapse tend to under-report their symptoms due to embarrassment. About one in every three women over the age of 45 experiences some degree of prolapse. The most common symptoms? Urinary incontinence, back pain, feelings of pelvic fullness or pressure, pain during intercourse, and problems with bowel movements and “something coming out”.
The pelvic organs include the uterus, rectum and bladder. Prolapse occurs when the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor, which support these organs, weaken, causing one or more of the organs to drop out of place.
This common condition usually results from multiple vaginal births, menopause and estrogen loss.
When considering the best treatment options for prolapse, our doctors take into account which organs are affected, the severity of symptoms, and whether other medical conditions are present. Many patients are able to reduce pain and pressure with non-surgical treatment or through insertion of a pessary (a doughnut-shaped silicon device) into the vagina. If non-surgical techniques fail to alleviate the pain or pressure, prolapse repair may be the next step.
The procedure takes about 45 minutes to perform under general anesthesia. Patients usually stay overnight in the hospital and are told to “take it easy” for six to eight weeks, avoiding strenuous activity or heavy lifting.
Talk to us about your symptoms and learn if this procedure is right for you.