Pelvic prolapse is the falling or sliding of the womb (uterus) from its normal position into the vaginal area. Women with pelvic prolapse frequently have prolapse of the bladder (cystocele) or rectum (rectocele). Drs. David and Kim Newman will perform a thorough evaluation of your support structures before suggesting a personalized approach to your case.
Muscles, ligaments, and other structures hold the uterus in the pelvis. If these muscles and structures are weak, the uterus drops into the vaginal canal. This is called prolapse.
This condition is more common in women who have had one or more vaginal births.
Other causes of pelvic prolapse include:
- Normal aging
- Lack of estrogen after menopause
- Anything that puts pressure on the pelvic muscles, including chronic cough and obesity
- Pelvic tumor (rare)
Long-term constipation and the pushing associated with it can make this condition worse.
Symptoms of pelvic prolapse can include:
- Feeling like you are sitting on a small ball
- Difficulty or pain during sexual intercourse
- Frequent urination or a sudden urge to empty the bladder
- Low backache
- Uterus and cervix that protrude through the vaginal opening
- Repeated bladder infections
- Feeling of heaviness or "pulling" in the pelvis
- Vaginal bleeding
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Difficulty having a bowel movement without providing manual support to the vaginal wall
Treatment for Pelvic Prolapse
Pelvic prolapse is treated by surgically repairing the pelvic support system or by use of a pessary, an object placed in the vagina to prevent the uterus/bladder/rectum from descending out of the vagina.
There are also surgical treatments to correct pelvic prolapse. Due to issues with pelvic discomfort in some patients, the large piece of mesh used years ago to treat pelvic prolapse is no longer recommended. With advancements in robotic surgery, Drs. David and Kim Newman are able to repair the most advanced cases of prolapse with minimal patient discomfort as well as a shorter recovery period. Most patients are able to return home from the hospital on the day of their surgery.