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Some women experience a condition of relaxation of their vaginal support and feel as if "something is falling out." The condition, known as pelvic prolapse, can occur in the bladder, the rectum, the intestines, the uterus or a combination of some
or all of the above.
Some of the symptoms women notice with pelvic prolapse include pain, pressure, difficulty with urination, including incontinence or retention, difficulty with bowel movements and painful intercourse.
The causes of pelvic prolapse can be multifactorial. Age, genetics and daily activity play a big role in prolapse. Pregnancy, itself, is a risk factor, but having a vaginal delivery with tearing or an episiotomy during the delivery can increase the risk as well. Chronic cough or constipation can also increase the changes of forming a prolapse
There are a range of treatments depending on the severity of the prolapse, type of prolapse and symptoms it is causing.
Some women have prolapse, but experience minimal symptoms and kegel exercises and behavioral changes to decrease the risk of increasing the prolapse may be all that is recommended.
One type of treatment for pelvic prolapse includes a small support device that can be placed and removed by the woman at her discretion called a pessary. Pessaries come in all shapes and sizes so a fitting appointment is scheduled and the woman is allowed to "trial" the pessary for a few hours before an
order is placed. If the pessary fits correctly, the woman should be able to use the bathroom as usual and have no discomfort when performing daily activities.
Surgical correction is the other form of treatment and can often be done with minimal time in the hospital. Again, depending on what is prolapsing into the vaginal space, different surgical approaches are used. Because the area is being re-supported to a more normal anatomy, treatment also includes altering
behaviors especially during the post operative time, so that the support is allowed to heal properly.
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