5 Things I Wish I Knew About Pelvic Organ Prolapse

5 Things I Wish I Knew About Pelvic Organ Prolapse

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Aside from the typical post partum belly, there are many other conditions mums may develop after pregnancy. One of which is the pelvic organ or uterine prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)is when your uterus or womb starts to get weak. Generally, the muscles, tissue, and ligaments inside your pelvis reduce their power and functionality after pregnancy, childbirth, or when mums experience difficulty during labour and delivery. Naturally, when people grow older, they start to experience several conditions due to ageing. With women, their hormone oestrogen and uterus weaken as they age, which can result in dropping into the vaginal canal or also called a prolapsed uterus.

If you want to find out more about pelvic organ prolapse, here is a list of all the essential information you should know.

1. REMEMBER. YOU ARE NOT ALONE IF YOU HAVE POP.

Similar to divarication of recti, POP is a usual condition for women. Studies state that one in four women develops POP in their 40s and one in every three women in their 60s. If you develop pelvic organ prolapse, always remember that you are not alone in this battle. Many women still get embarrassed to talk about having POP and how they experience the said condition.

Pelvic organ prolapseoften occurs due to the sudden changes in your reproductive system during and after pregnancy. Some women get it a few months after giving birth. However, it is also necessary that even if a woman has never given birth, they can still develop POP, too, as it can come from the following:

  • Pregnancy, labour, and childbirth are the most common causes of pelvic organ prolapse
  • Obesity
  • Ageing
  • Sudden hormonal changes, especially menopause
  • Respiratory problems, such as long-term cough, lung diseases, or smoking health risks
  • Diseases or conditions that weaken your connective tissues
  • Ongoing constipation
  • Regularly straining during bowel movements
  • Pelvic organ cancers
  • Pelvic floor injuries
  • Surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy)
  • A difficult vaginal delivery, whether caesarean or normal delivery
  • High-impact exercises or workouts wherein the task require heavy lifting (heavier than a gallon of water)
  • Family history

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2. YOU MAY ENCOUNTER MORE SYMPTOMS OVER TIME.

Occasionally, pelvic organ prolapse happens all of a sudden, which means you have no time to prepare for it. You do not know when it will come. For instance, POP may randomly attack you while you are doing some squats or lifting at the gym. These are the most common symptoms you may encounter.

  • Urine leakage due to chronic urge to urinate
  • Unable to control urine and empty the bladder totally
  • A feeling of pressure or fullness in the pelvic area
  • Persistent pain and ache in your lower back
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Difficulty in reaching orgasm
  • A feeling of laxity or something is falling out of the vagina
  • Constipation or loss of bowel control
  • Spotting or bleeding from the vagina
  • A sensation of heaviness, tension, and pressure in the vagina
  • A distinct lump forms around or within the vagina

You may encounter these common symptoms when you develop pelvic organ prolapse. However,it can worsen over time. So when you experience any of the following, it is best to seek a urogynecologist immediately.

Here-s-To-Getting-Better-And-Treated

3. THERE ARE MANY AVAILABLE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR POP.

Considering the number of devices and technology today, many treatment options for various conditions and diseases are available. For instance, diastasis recti treatment is now accessible in Singapore.Luckily, there are also several treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse. Some are lifestyle changes, exercises, surgery, and therapy. To help you function better, here are some treatment options for your POP.

  • Physical therapy to help strengthen your core muscles
  • Kegel, Pilates, or pelvic floor exercises
  • Pessaries, which utilise a small plastic device in your vagina, providing supplemental support to your pelvic organs
  • Surgery or removal of the uterus by hysterectomy (surgery is only necessary if your pessary can no longer hold your stool or urine and causes pain)
  • Medications, such as oestrogen cream
  • Consistent use of suppository ovules or rings, which helps restore and mends the tissues in the vagina
  • Adding fibre to your diet can help you recover from pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Keeping yourself hydrated
  • Lose at least five to ten pounds

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4. SEE A UROGYNECOLOGIST AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

Whether it is for diastasis recti, vaginal, or POP exercises, it is still best to seek medical consultation with a urogynecologist. Urogynecologists are the experts for diagnosing and treating pelvic floor health, the parts, and revitalising its functions. If you have POP, your urogynecologist can suggest the best treatment options to help you regain strength and recover ASAP. Also, if you experience any of the following, IMMEDIATELY seek your urogynecologist:

  • Difficulty in urination
  • Obstruction in bowel movement
  • Complete uterine prolapse or your entire uterus comes out of your vagina
  • A feeling of pressure from the cervix or in your vaginal canal
  • A feeling of something coming out of your vagina
  • Persistent discomfort from urinary dribbling
  • Rectal urgency or the urge to release stool
  • Persistent pain in the lower back, causing difficulty in walking, standing, sitting, urinating, and moving your bowels

5. POP MAY INDICATE IT IS TIME FOR PELVIC CHECKUPS.

Regular pelvic checkups are just as essential as your frequent visits to a hairstylist. If you observe any signs of pelvic organ prolapse in your vagina post-delivery, it would be the best time and opportunity to consult your urogynecologist regarding any changes in your pelvic muscles, reproductive system, and overall body condition. Seeing a urogynecologist may help prevent POP from worsening, change your diet to improve your digestion and help with weight loss, or use a pessary. Together with your urogynecologist, you can treat your pelvic organ prolapseand give your pelvic floor the TLC it needs.

Final Thoughts

If you develop pelvic organ prolapse, never hesitate to seek help. Your pelvic floor muscles support your bladder, uterus, and bowel. Without a doubt, getting treatment can help you recover and regain the functionality of your pelvic floor systems, but always remember that prevention is better than cure. Once you encounter even just one of the mentioned symptoms, visit your urogynecologist as soon as possible. Also, remember that in this battle, you are not alone. Do not be embarrassed with your condition and symptoms.

For POP, diastasis recti, vulva conditions, or urinary incontinence treatment, you can consult Orchard Clinic. You may schedule an appointment by flicking a message at +65 6235 4560 or visiting their website.