Uterine Prolapse

The uterus is an important part of a woman’s body that is held in place by pelvic muscles and ligaments. If these muscles and ligaments stretch or weaken, it causes prolapse as they will no longer be able to support the uterus.

Uterine prolapse is a condition that arises when the uterus slips from its normal position and falls into the vagina or birth canal. This can be partial or complete wherein the uterus is either sagging slightly or is extreme where it falls in such that some of the tissues rest outside the vagina.

Symptoms

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Discomfort while seating- a feeling of sitting on a ball
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Constipation
  • Bladder infections become recurrent
  • Problems while engaging in intercourse
  • Weighty feeling in the pelvic region

Risk Factors and Diagnosis

  • Risk increases with age and a decrease in estrogen
  • Muscle and tissue damage during pregnancy or childbirth
  • Obesity
  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic constipation
  • Post menopause

Diagnosis is done by a combination of evaluation of symptoms and a pelvic examination where the insides of the vagina are examined to determine the degree of prolapse.

Treatment

If the prolapse is severe you can discuss with your doctor about the available treatment options. The non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Losing weight
  • Avoid lifting heavyweights
  • Exercises to strengthen vaginal muscles

Surgical options are available which include uterine suspension where the uterus is placed back in its original position by reattachment using surgical materials and hysterectomy where the uterus is removed through the abdomen or vagina. A pessary is a non-surgical treatment option, which will be decided by Gynecologist post consultation.

Regular exercise, maintainance of healthy weight and estrogen replacement therapy during menopause can help prevent prolapse.

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