Uterine prolapse is a condition when the uterus slips down or protrudes out of vagina. When the pelvic floor muscles & ligaments get weaken and are not able to provide enough support to the uterus, condition of uterine prolapse occur.However, woman of any age can suffer uterine prolapse but it often affects postmenopausal women.
Signs and Symptoms of Uterine Prolapse:
Chief complaints of a woman in case of moderate to severe uterine prolapse are:
- Tissue protruding from your vagina
- A feeling of heaviness in the pelvic region
- Feeling as if you’re sitting on a small ball or as if something is falling out of your vagina
- Loosening the vaginal tissue
- Urinary problems, such as urine leakage (incontinence) or urine retention
- Trouble having a bowel movement
Causes of uterine prolapse
Uterine prolapse is the consequence of the weakening of pelvic floor muscles and the supportive tissues. Various possible causes of weakened pelvic muscles & tissues are:
- Trauma during delivery
- Delivery of a baby larger than a normal one
- Being overweight or obese
- Chronic constipation
- Repeated heavy lifting
- Lower estrogen level after menopause
- Chronic cough or bronchitis
Certain factors increase the risk of uterine prolapse, these include:
- One or more pregnancies and vaginal births
- Prior pelvic surgery
- Giving birth to a large baby
- Family history of weakness in connective tissue
- Increasing age
One might experience the following complications associated with Uterine prolapse:
- Anterior prolapse called as a cystocele. Also knowns as the prolapsed urinary bladder. The weakening of connective tissues separating the bladder and the vagina may lead the bladder to slip down into the vagina.
- Posterior vaginal prolapse called rectocele. A weakening of connective tissues separating the rectum and the vagina causing the rectum to slip down into the vagina. The patient with rectocele may have difficulty in bowel movements.
- In case of severe uterine prolapse, part of the vaginal lining gets displaced causing it to protrude outside the body. Vaginal tissue on rubbing against the clothing can result in vaginal sores or ulcers.
- Pelvic exam: The Gynaecologist examines the patient physically
- Urodynamic Study in case the patient has severe urinary incontinence.
Treatment of Uterine Prolapse
Mild cases of uterine prolapse usually do not require treatment. But if uterine prolapse disrupts one’s normal life, we suggest you seek urgent medical attention.
Treatment depends on the severity of uterine prolapse.:
- Self-care measures. If your uterine prolapse is asymptomatic, simple self-care measures like pelvic floor muscles strengthening exercises or losing weight may provide relief or help prevent worsening prolapse.
- A vaginal pessary is a plastic or rubber ring inserted by the gynecologist into the vagina to support the bulging tissues.
Minimal invasive surgery: Laparoscopic or vaginal surgery might be an option. Surgery is done with the following purpose:
- Repair of weakened pelvic floor muscles and tissues. In this surgery, the surgeon grafts the patient’s own tissue or donor tissue or a synthetic material onto weakened pelvic floor structures to support the pelvic organs.
- Hysterectomy (Removal of your uterus): is recommended for uterine prolapse in certain severe cases.
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