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Prolapse


Having a prolapse means that your pelvic floor no longer adequately supports your pelvic organs. This occurs when its muscles, ligaments and other tissues have become slack, inelastic and weak and are under stress. The bladder and Urethra are most likely to prolapse, followed by the womb, rectum, or urethra alone, in that order.

Many factors can weaken the pelvic floor. They include repeated pregnancies; a long second stage in labour (the stage when you push the baby out of the womb and down the vagina); a forceps delivery, ageing, smoking, a low post- enopausal oestrogen level, being overweight or constipated or having a chronic cough.

Tests and investigations of Prolapse

Your doctor will examine you, and check that your urine isn't infected if you have cystitis-type symptoms. If you need surgery for a prolapse and suffer from leaking, for example, your doctor may recommend that you have bladder volume and urine flow measurements with a view to having surgery for the leaking at the same time.

Need to see a doctor

Yes, if you are uncomfortable, have cystitis-type symptoms, or your prolapse interferes with your sex life.

Medical treatment of Prolapse

A prolapse repair operation can help to support the sagging organ and the type of surgery depends on the type of prolapse. Another option is a hysterectomy plus a repair.

If you are either waiting for surgery, are not fit for surgery or don't want it, your doctor can fit a polythene ring pessary in your vagina to support your

prolapse and make you more comfortable; you will need a new ring pessary every three to 12 months. It has been suggested, though not proven, that HRT may help prevent a prolapse from worsening.

Your action plan

Vital: Don't push too early in childbirth, Pelvic-floor exercises, Exercise, Prevent constipation, No smoking, Healthy weight maintenance, Avoid lifting, Dietary changes

Optional: Hydrotherapy

 

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