Do you have a feeling of pressure in the vagina? Is intercourse painful? Do you have difficulty emptying the bladder, or constipation? If so, you might be suffering from pelvic organ prolapse. Fortunately, at Pikes Peak Urology in Colorado Springs, CO, we have the technology and medical specialists to properly diagnose and treat pelvic organ prolapse.
Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse vary based on the type. Significant prolapse is a major detriment to quality of life for many woman. At Pikes Peak Urology, we offer state-of-the-art robotic surgery to correct the underlying anatomical defect while minimizing pain and recovery time.
Please call Pikes Peak Urology to schedule a consultation if you have any of the symptoms above or if you have questions regarding the appropriate treatment of this distressing disorder. Contact us today to learn about our treatments for pelvic organ prolapse in Colorado Springs, CO:
What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse is a type of medical disorder that affects the pelvic floor. It can negatively affect women throughout their lifetime. The pelvic floor mentioned is the group of muscles that form a type of hammock across the pelvic opening. The job of these tissues and muscles work to keep the pelvic organs in their proper place. These organs include the rectum, small bowel, vagina, uterus and bladder. When the organs prolapse, it means they droop or descend outside of or into the vaginal canal or the anus.
Although the condition sounds serious, it is a medical problem that you can easily treat, and in some cases, prevent. Admittedly, it isn’t the most pleasant of conditions to develop. However, it is well documented and extremely common. There is evidence of this female health condition on record for over 4,000 years according to the Association for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support group (APOPS). The information shared about pelvic organ prolapse below will help you recognize the condition. It also lets you know the types of treatments available that will enable you reclaim your quality of life:
Types of Pelvic Organ Prolapse
The following are the types of prolapse that can occur and how they are defined:
- Cystocele: This is when the bladder prolapses into the vagina. This is the most common type of pelvic organ prolapse.
- Urethrocele: This is a prolapse of the urethra, which is the tube that transports urine.
- Uterine prolapsed: This is a type of genital prolapse that involves the prolapse of the uterus.
- Vaginal Vault Prolapse: This is a vaginal prolapse.
- Enterocele: This happens when the small bowel prolapses.
- Rectocele: This occurs when the rectum prolapses.
Some women will notice the following symptoms when suffering pelvic organ prolapse. Others, won’t notice any symptoms at all:
- A backache, usually felt in the lower back.
- A feeling of fullness or pressure in the pelvic area.
- Intercourse becomes painful.
- Bleeding or spotting from the vagina.
- Urinary related problems, such as the chronic urge to urinate or leaking urine.
- Feeling pressure against the vaginal wall from the pelvic organs. This is the single most common symptom.
- A fullness in the lower belly.
- A feeling of stretching or pulling in the groin area.
Symptoms often go hand-in-hand with which organs are drooping. For example, if the bladder prolapses, you can expect urine leakage. Uterine prolapses often involve uncomfortable intercourse and a backache. A rectum prolapse includes constipation and uncomfortable or painful intercourse. Uncomfortable intercourse and a backache usually accompany a prolapse of the small intestine.
How Is Pelvic Organ Prolapse Screened And Diagnosed?
Your doctor will often discover the presence of pelvic organ prolapse during your routine pelvic exam. For example, the one that is completed when you have your yearly pap smear. The following are additional tests that can be performed to diagnose pelvic organ prolapse:
- X-ray of the urinary tract, which is also known as intravenous pyelgraphy.
- CT scan of the pelvis region.
- Ultrasound of the pelvis.
- MRI of the pelvis.
What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Anything that creates more pressure in your abdomen can increase your chances of developing pelvic organ prolapse. The following are the most commonly stated causes of the condition:
- Childbirth, labor and pregnancy. This is the most commonly stated cause of the condition.
- Respiratory problems that includes a long-term cough.
- Cancers of the pelvic organs.
- The completion of a hysterectomy, which is the surgical removal of the uterus.
- Advancing age.
- Genetic predisposition. Some women have stronger connective tissues than others, which reduces their risk for developing pelvic organ prolapse.
How your pelvic organ prolapse is treated depends greatly on the severity of your symptoms. However, the following are the most common treatments used to treat the condition at Pikes Peak Urology:
- Behavioral Exercise: This involves doing certain exercises, such as Kegals. This is an exercise designed to strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor muscles.
- Mechanical: This treatment involves inserting a small plastic device, which is called a pessary, into the vagina in an effort to support the drooping organs.
- Surgical: This is completed by either repairing or removing the affected organ or tissue. An example of this procedure is a hysterectomy, which is the removal or the uterus.
Statistics on Pelvic Organ Prolapse
According to The Association For Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support:
- In 2010, there were 3.3 million women diagnosed with the condition in America.
- Some experts say around half of all females will experience the condition at some point in their lifetime.
- There are around 300,000 surgeries to repair the condition on an annual basis.
Ways to Avoid Developing Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Even better than finding ways to repair the damage of pelvic organ prolapse is to learn how to avoid or reduce your risk of getting the condition altogether. The following are ways to reduce your risk of ever facing pelvic organ prolapse:
- Maintain a healthy body weight for your height.
- Complete Kegal exercises on a daily basis in order to maintain muscle strength in the pelvic region.
- Prevent/treat constipation.
- Avoid smoking as this can negatively affect tissues and lead to the development of a chronic cough.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Treatment in Colorado Springs, CO
Contact Pikes Peak Urology today to schedule a medical consultation with one of our experienced urologists. We are your urology experts in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Consultations, evaluations and treatment do not require a doctor’s referral and are covered by most insurance policies. Please contact your provider for coverage details.