Houston Metro Urology

Monday, May 4, 2015

Women’s Health- Pelvic Organ Prolapse

houston metro urology
                                                             Houston Metro Urology

Weakening of the muscles with age is inevitable. Unless you’ve found the fountain of youth, most of us aren’t quite as quick, agile, or sharp as we once were. No surprise right, we all expected this. It’s all part of being human so bring on the Metamucil!
Many of us try to stay in shape by keeping our muscles active and remembering the old adage “you lose what you don’t use.” We all want to try and stay as young and healthy as possible in both mind and body. Keeping yourself young is always a great idea; genetics has a very important role on how well the various muscles in your body will last with age. One of the most common muscles in women to weaken is the pelvic region muscles. This can cause pelvic organ prolapse which leads to many different conditions that can become extremely uncomfortable for women or even dangerous in severe cases.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse is a condition in which the structure of the rectum, uterus, bladder, small bowel, urethra, or the vagina drifts from their normal positions. Eventually, the structures fall farther into the vagina and can even drop through the vaginal opening if the muscles are too weak and left untreated. This is called procidentia, or complete prolapsed. Symptoms of this affect bodily functions, such as urination and defecation, but may also have an effect on sexual functions. Be aware there are many types of pelvic prolapse that can occur.

 -        Rectocele - (Prolapse of the Rectum) 

      This is the result of the prolapsed back wall of the vagina. When the wall becomes weak, the rectal wall pushes against the vaginal wall. This creates a bulge and may become noticeable when bowel movements occur.

·         Enterocele - (Herniated Small Bowel)

      Develops when the front and the back walls of the vagina separate. This causes the intestines to push against the vaginal skin.

·        Cystocele - (Prolapse of the Bladder, bladder drop) 

      When the front wall of the vagina prolapses, the bladder may prolapse into the vagina. As the bladder prolapses, the urethra can also prolapse which causes a condition called cystourethrocele. This condition can cause urinary stress incontinence (urine leakage while you are sneezing, coughing, or exercising).

·         Prolapsed Uterus  

      The weakening of the uterosacral ligaments at the top of the vagina. This causes the uterus (womb) to fall and weakens both the front and back walls of the vagina.

If you are having any symptoms of pelvic prolapse it is better to act now rather than wait. These symptoms can only get worse. The longer you wait more damage and discomfort will occur. Visit your urogynecologist or gynecologist to find out more and learn what your options are to treat this condition.

Reviewed By Gilad FIlmar, M.D.
                                                           Houston Metro Urology

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