Common Signs & Causes for Pelvic Organ Prolapse
When vaginal prolapse occurs, an organ has dropped (prolapsed) out of its normal position and can sometimes even protrude from the vagina.
Common symptoms experienced with pelvic organ prolapse may include:
- A feeling of vaginal fullness, heaviness, or even pain
- Pain or discomfort during intercourse
- Loss of bladder control or difficulties emptying the bladder
- Involuntary urination or inconsistent urinary stream
- Difficulty with bowel movements
- Recurrent urinary infections
What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
The definition of pelvic organ prolapse is different depending on what anatomic structure in the pelvis is pushing into the vagina, such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum. When vaginal vault prolapse occurs, the upper part (apex) of the vagina has dropped to a lower position. It is possible for more than one organ to prolapse into the vagina at the same time.
What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that have been weakened with age are the primary causes, but many other factors may play a role. These may include vaginal childbirth, previous vaginal surgeries, menopause, smoking, diabetes, obesity, a history of heavy lifting, chronic coughing, and chronic constipation. Sometimes pelvic organ prolapse can be caused simply by genetic factors.
The Women’s Health Group providers, Drs. Stephen Volin and Cindy Long have 20 years of expertise performing pelvic prolapse repair as well as evaluation and management of urinary conditions. Both providers do a high volume of robotic and minimally invasive surgical repairs for incontinence and prolapse, collaboratively, to ensure expertise and maximize best outcomes for patients.