If you are a woman you are susceptible to pelvic organ prolapse. So what is it? What is it that makes one-third of all women become affected by prolapse or similar conditions over their lifetime?
There’s really two levels, pelvic floor disorder and pelvic organ prolapse
The second is actually one of several disorders including urinary and anal incontinence. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that hang across the pelvic opening. The purpose is to hold the pelvic organs in place. In all people it includes the bladder, small bowel and rectum. In women, it also includes the reproductive organs.
There are many causes, but for women the most common is childbirth, but other causes include obesity, constipation, cancer, hysterectomy and respiratory problems that cause a cough.
Several different areas can be involved
So pelvic organ prolapse is when the organs that the pelvic floor is supposed to hold in start to descend or droop into or outside of the vaginal canal or anus.
There are several names for it, including:
- cystocele which is a prolapse of the bladder into the vagina
- urethrocele which is a prolapse of the urethra
- uterine prolapse which is a prolapse of the uterus into the vagina
- vaginal vault prolapse which is a prolapse of the vagina
- enterocele which is a small bowel prolapse
- rectocele which is a rectum prolapse
Treatment can encompass everything from simple kegel exercises to surgery. One route is physical therapy. Physical therapy can help strengthen the pelvic muscles. If caught early physical therapy can help prevent prolapse. If not, it can help augment whatever treatment your doctor prescribes. Should that be surgery, physical therapy can mean shorter healing periods and fewer issues.
Don’t wait, get help sooner rather than later
If you are having problems see your doctor and find a good physical therapist like Specialized Physical Therapy! Don’t wait for it to get worse, sign up for a free pain evaluation today!