Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where the muscles around the pelvic organs weaken, causing all or some of the those organs to press or drop into the vaginal canal. Women battling this condition are, in many cases, unable to comfortably discuss the problem with loved ones or medical professionals. They elect to endure the existing pain, which could lead to further damage.
Pelvic organ prolapse is most common in older women, but younger woman could also develop this condition. Since pregnancy and childbirth are the main risk factors, more than 50% of women in their childbearing stages experience POP, to varying degrees.
There are three types of pelvic organ prolapses:
- Uterine prolapse- when the uterus drops into or out of the vagina
- Cystocele-when the bladder drops into or out of the vagina
- Rectocele- when the rectum bulges into the vagina or protrudes out of it
What are the causes of pelvic organ prolapse?
Several factors can trigger pelvic organ prolapse. They include the following:
- Vaginal childbirth: This mode of delivery is extremely demanding on the areas around the pelvic floor. With every vaginal birth, the chances of developing POP increase.
- Menopause-induced hormonal changes: The absence of estrogen can increase the risk of POP.
- Pregnancy with a high weight baby: A baby that weighs more than 8½ pounds is a heavy workload for your pelvic region and may trigger POP after delivery.
- Prolonged abdominal pressure: Obesity, chronic coughing, or constant excessive strain during bowel movements can cause POP.
- Old age: 50% of women dealing with POP are 80 years or older. However, 37% of the patients are between 60 and 79 years of age.
Signs and symptoms of POP
- The feeling of an unstable pelvis
- Loss of vaginal sensations
- Pain in the abdomen and lower back
- Urinary and fecal incontinence
- Pressure in the pelvic region
How we can help
Here at Oklahoma Physical Therapy, we have physical therapists that are highly experienced in the management and treatment of the symptoms associated with pelvic organ prolapses of all types. With our advanced physical therapy, we can reduce POP symptoms and improve pelvic and abdominal strength. Contact us today for one-on-one care and personalized treatments.